Shakib: 'Playing in all three formats is close to impossible'

Bangladesh allrounder says he is rethinking his Test future, and wants to skip ODIs that aren't part of the Super League

Shakib Al Hasan has a hit before the game, Bangladesh vs West Indies, T20 World Cup, Group 1, Sharjah, October 29, 2021

Shakib Al Hasan feels staying in bio-bubbles is like "life in a jail"  •  AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan has cast doubts over his future in Test cricket, as he feels it is "close to impossible" to play all three formats, especially during the pandemic. Shakib also said that he wants to pick and choose ODIs, and avoid playing those matches that are not part of the Super League.
Shakib has already skipped Bangladesh's upcoming Test series against New Zealand that begins on January 1. He cited family reasons, and although it created a bit of controversy, ultimately the BCB granted him the leave. Shakib has been skipping many series since the 2017 South Africa tour, although he was also served a one-year suspension from October 2019 to October 2020 by the ICC.
"I know which format to give importance or preference," Shakib told the Dhaka-based TV channel NTV. "The time has come for me to think about Test cricket. This is the fact: whether I will play Tests or not. And even if I do, how I will play the format. I also need to consider if I need to participate in ODIs where no points are at stake. I don't have any other option.
"I am not saying I will retire from Tests. It might even happen that I stop playing T20Is after the 2022 T20 World Cup. I can play Tests and ODIs. But playing three formats is almost close to impossible. Playing two Tests in 40-42 days is not fruitful. It encourages one to play selectively. I will definitely plan well with BCB, and then go forward. It will be the smart thing to do. If it happens in January, I will know what I am doing for the rest of the year."
"I am not saying I will retire from Tests. It might even happen that I stop playing T20Is after the 2022 T20 World Cup"
Bangladesh are currently vying for an automatic entry into the 2023 ODI World Cup through the Super League. They will play the Super 12s in the 2022 T20 World Cup, while also taking part in the World Test Championship. In the Test tournament, Shakib has played very little cricket.
Tamim Iqbal, too, has skipped plenty of T20Is this year including the T20 World Cup, although he hasn't declared his retirement from the format.
The 34-year-old Shakib suggested that the pandemic, and the bio-bubble environment that has come with it, has played a part in this thinking process. He said that spending so much time away from his family isn't healthy.
"It was like life in a jail. It is not like the players roam around a lot during a series. But when you will know it mentally that you can't go out even if you want to, that's where the problem lies. New Zealand didn't even send their U-19 team to the World Cup, thinking about mental health. Coronavirus isn't going away easily. We have to find out a new way to survive this. I don't think bio-bubble and quarantine is the best way.
"When you can't meet your three little kids regularly, it becomes an unhealthy situation. It affects their growing up."