Shakib Al Hasan has submitted a letter to the BCB requesting a break from Test cricket for six months. The board will discuss the matter on Monday afternoon, hours before it is scheduled to announce the South Africa-bound Test squad.

ESPNcricinfo has learned the BCB has taken the matter seriously and is considering giving Shakib a shortened break, and is likely to ask him to be available for the Sri Lanka Tests at home in late December. Shakib apparently wants the break to prolong his international career.

"Shakib has submitted a letter to the BCB asking for a six-month break from Test cricket," Jalal Yunus, BCB's media committee chairman, confirmed.

Over the next six months, Bangladesh have four Tests scheduled, two each against South Africa and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh play three ODIs and two T20s during the South Africa tour while there are ODIs and T20s also scheduled against Sri Lanka. Shakib will be available for the limited-overs series.

The letter is an unprecedented move by a Bangladesh cricketer. Shakib has been Bangladesh's most consistent performer in the team in the last 10 years, and, since 2011, he has also become a regular in the franchise-based T20 leagues. He is currently the No. 1 ranked allrounder in cricket across the three formats.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84