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Shakib Al Hasan to stay back for third ODI in face of family health crisis

Several members of his family have been hospitalised due to various ailments

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Shakib Al Hasan has changed his mind after initially deciding to fly back and miss the third ODI  •  AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan has changed his mind after initially deciding to fly back and miss the third ODI  •  AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan is staying back in South Africa to play the third ODI in Centurion on Wednesday, after initially deciding to return home where several of his family members, including his children, are in hospital due to various illnesses. Khaled Mahmud, the Bangladesh team director, said Shakib changed his mind on returning to Dhaka on Monday, but is likely to do so after the March 23 match.
Mahmud said that for the last few days, Shakib had been discussing with his family back home whether to leave the tour or not. The BCB booked a ticket for his return on Monday, but hours later, Shakib decided to stay back.
"A number of his family members are sick so he is in hesitation," Mahmud said, from Centurion. "He is speaking to his family about whether he needs to return to Dhaka. We have had to book a few tickets for him in the last few days. We booked a ticket today as well, because he was supposed to leave today.
"But Shakib turned it down himself. He will return after playing [the third ODI]. Definitely, he was supposed to return home, which Jalal (Yunus, chairman of the BCB's cricket operations committee) bhai said earlier in the day. But shortly afterwards, Shakib decided that he will leave after playing (the third ODI)."
Mahmud praised Shakib for putting the Bangladesh team before his family's emergency. He said Shakib was really up for the series decider on Wednesday.
"It is a family situation, which is important for everyone. Otherwise he was very intense from the start of the tour. Very serious about playing. He was play-of-the-match in the first game. He wants to win the series for Bangladesh.
"He also knows that we will have a tough time making a combination without him. It is very pleasant that he is making such a big sacrifice for the Bangladesh team. I am hopeful that everyone becomes normal in his family. He will decide after the third ODI now."
Bangladesh and South Africa are locked at one-all going into the third ODI in Centurion on Wednesday. The visitors won their first match against South Africa in their backyard in the first ODI on March 18, with Shakib's 77 a pivotal performance. It also won him the Player-of-the-Match award.
Given his mother and two of his children are among the family members who are hospitalized, Shakib is unlikely to stay on after the March 23 game.
GMT 1145 This copy was updated. It was initially reported, as per BCB's operations team, that Shakib was ready to return to Bangladesh.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84