Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan's request for Test sabbatical granted

Bangladesh's squad for the Test series in South Africa

In the place of Shakib, the selectors have recalled all-rounder Mahmudullah, who last played a Test earlier this year against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh secured a notable 1-1 draw at home in their previous Test series, having registered a landmark first victory over heavyweights Australia. However, the board has asked him to inform them if he wishes to play the second Test at Bloemfontein from October 6.

Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim admits he is not happy that Shakib Al Hasan chose to skip the upcoming Test series in South Africa, but respects the allrounder's decision. "I am hopeful that he will be able to perform well with the way he has been batting recently", he said.

It will be the first time that a Bangladesh player will voluntarily miss a Test.

Akram Khan, the BCB's cricket operations chairperson, said: "Shakib wrote a letter to us asking for a six-month break".

Shakib is a regular at franchise-based Twenty20 tournaments around the world, and earned $712,000 from four Twenty20 competitions in 2016, according to Bangladesh's Daily Star.

"I can play if I want". It is not important to me to just play for the sake of match fees and salary. Shakib came out firm on his decision, stating that if he wanted to play for long, he had to give his body and mind a break.

"This break would usher me the opportunity to play for another five years or so".

New South Africa coach Ottis Gibson, who is scheduled to arrive in South Africa on Monday, has requested that as many national players as possible feature in those matches, and the squad won't be named before the end of the round.

His request for the Test break comes amid concerns over player fatigue, as well as criticism that players are prioritising earning money over representing their countries.

Shakib will be available, though, when the Tigers tackle the Proteas in three subsequent one-day internationals and two Twenty20s. I have not got it in the last 3-4 years.

The 30-year-old was impressive in the recent two-Test series against Australia, where he picked up 10 wickets and scored 153 runs in the first Test to help his side register a historic victory.

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