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News

Shakib Al Hasan back as Bangladesh Test captain

Litton Das will be Shakib's deputy as the allrounder takes over from Mominul Haque

Shakib Al Hasan successfully appeals for lbw against Lasith Embuldeniya, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Chattogram, 2nd day, May 16, 2022

Shakib Al Hasan has had several stints in charge of Bangladesh  •  AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan will take the reins for Bangladesh in Test cricket once again, being confirmed as captain on Thursday. He takes over from Mominul Haque, who had resigned as captain on May 31 after leading the side since October 2019. Litton Das has been named Shakib's deputy.
"What I have discussed - or, what we have discussed - and learnt is that he [Shakib] is available to play," BCB president Nazmul Hassan said on Thursday. "After the series against West Indies, we have a series against Zimbabwe. Shakib is uncertain for that series, and it's unclear how long Shakib will remain the captain for.
"I had three names. The people responsible for [selecting the captain] had their discussions and gave me three names - one of them would be the captain and one of the others would be the vice-captain. If Shakib had refused the captaincy, we would have turned to the other two.
"We wanted to appoint both the new captain and the vice-captain. And after the preliminary discussions, we decided to have Shakib Al Hasan as the captain and Litton Das as the vice-captain."
Results did not go Bangladesh's way a lot during Mominul's tenure: in all Bangladesh won just three Tests under him, losing 12 and drawing two. Also, Mominul's own batting form fell away - he has 162 runs in six Tests so far in 2022, averaging 16.20 - as a result of the pressures of captaincy, and that was one of the primary reasons for him giving up the job. "When you play well, even if the team doesn't win, you are still in a position to motivate them. I felt that captaining a side is tough when I am not scoring and team is not winning," he said at the time of announcing his resignation.
Shakib, 35, has had numerous stints as Bangladesh's Test captain, first leading the side in a game against West Indies in 2009. He captained for six more matches in the first half of 2010, and again in August 2011 against Zimbabwe, before falling out of favour with the then BCB chief Mustafa Kamal. He took over the Test captaincy once again in December 2017, replacing Mushfiqur Rahim. He held the role for nearly two years, till he was handed a one-year ban from all cricket in 2019 for failing to report a bookie's approach.
Incidentally, Shakib's future in Test cricket has been a topic of discussion in recent months, with the allrounder going back and forth on his commitment to red-ball cricket. In February, Shakib had reportedly asked the BCB for some time off from Test cricket, but was nonetheless selected in the squad for the tour of South Africa.
Shakib, though, suggested that he was "jaded", and requested a break from international cricket, which the BCB eventually granted him. But then board president Nazmul Hassan publicly questioned Shakib's commitment to his country and, following another round of meetings between the allrounder and the BCB boss, Shakib was included in the squad for South Africa. In the end, though, he did miss the Tests due to illness in his family.
In the Test series assignment that followed, at home against Sri Lanka, Shakib finished as the highest wicket-taker for the hosts. The visitors, though, won the series 1-0.
Hassan further confirmed that former Indian batter Wasim Jaffer and former Australia batter Stuart Law will join the Under-19 coaching team.
"Our Under-19 [men's] coaching staff will have Stuart Law and Wasim Jaffer," Hassan said. "Stuart Law will be the head coach and Wasim Jaffer will be BCB's batting consultant. We can use them in various capacities."