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Shahadat Hossain returns to competitive cricket after 18 months of five-year ban

No official BCB word yet on reduction of his ban, but he played a Dhaka Premier Division match on Saturday

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Shahadat Hossain hasn't played international cricket since 2015

Shahadat Hossain had appealed to the BCB in February that his ban be reduced  •  Getty Images

Bangladesh fast bowler Shahadat Hossain, banned in November 2019 for five years for slapping a team-mate during a first-class match, played in a Dhaka Premier Division game on Saturday, despite there being no official statement from the BCB on the reduction of his ban.
ESPNcricinfo has learnt Hossain, who bowled two wicketless overs for Partex Sporting Club on his return against Old DOHS Sports Club, will not need to serve any more than the 18 months he has already completed in his five-year ban.
Hossain had appealed to the BCB in February that his ban be reduced, so he can resume his career and take care of the expenses relating to his mother's cancer treatment. BCB cricket operations chairman Akram Khan had said at the time that he had taken up Hossain's case with the board higher-ups.
"He is in a lot of problem in his family," Khan told Somoy TV in March. "His mother is diagnosed with cancer. He is not playing cricket now so when he called me, I spoke to a few directors. We have requested the BCB's disciplinary committee. We are hopeful to get a positive result from them. I have also informed the board president, who is also positive about him. Insha Allah, we hope that he can play in the NCL (National Cricket League)."
In November 2019, Hossain had slapped team-mate Arafat Sunny Jr during an NCL match in Khulna, after the latter refused to shine the ball for the fast bowler. After being withdrawn from the match, he was charged with a Level-4 offence, which amounted to a fine of BDT 100,000 (US $1200 approx.) and a five-year ban with two years as suspended sentencing.
In March, Hossain had said his primary motivation to return to competitive cricket before the completion of his five-year ban was his mother's treatment.
"I regret my actions. I was wrong, and I will try not to do it again. I won't have any problem for the rest of my career. My mother is a cancer patient. I want to return to cricket, to help my mother's treatment," he had said during a press conference.
Hossain didn't appear in the NCL edition that ran earlier this year for two rounds before being postponed in April owing to a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Bangladesh.
Hossain played the last of his 95 international matches in May 2015. He remains Bangladesh's second-highest wicket-taker in Tests among fast bowlers.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84