Shakib Al Hasan is two months away from completing one year of his ban from all forms of cricketing activities imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC). With that in mind, Shakib has already started to prepare himself for life after the ban and return to cricket as Bangladesh are set to tour Sri Lanka for a three-match Test series and he will be eligible to play from the second Test. And as a result, the all-rounder returned back to Dhaka on Tuesday night, after spending five and a half months in the USA with his family. Shakib will now spend September 5-6 training at the BKSP.
After returning in Dhaka, he returned to his residence in Banani and he will stay there in quarantine until getting his Covid-19 test result. If he tests negative, then he will go for training at the BKSP. As he will be unable to use the facilities from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) due to his ban, the BKSP is his only option for training.
The BCB wants Shakib to be part of the Sri Lanka tour and its president Nazmul Hassan Papon has also indicated that the all-rounder will play. But how he will be fitting seamlessly into the team is what they are trying to figure out. How Shakib is physically and mentally has to be taken into account and his fitness is another important factor here. After two months of training, where Shakib stands will be key to the BCB making its final decision. In this matter head coach of the national team, Russell Domingo will have the final say, according to the BCB.
After a meeting on Wednesday, the BCB's chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu said: "I cannot say anything about Shakib's inclusion at the moment as it depends on the decision of the team management. The team management will decide how things are done and Shakib's ban is till October. After that, the team management will decide. We cannot say anything for sure until the head coach returns."
Before receiving the one-year ban from the ICC, Shakib was the captain of the Test and the T20I teams. However, the BCB is not thinking of giving Shakib back the captaincy and Minhajul believes it is not a matter of discussion at the moment: "Shakib's possible return to captaincy is a matter that the BCB will decide on. It does not come from our selectors' panel."
The BCB cricket operations chairman Akram Khan has informed that the BCB will make a guideline for Shakib once he returns to cricket after his ban. Akram said: "Our guideline will be made after Shakib's ban is lifted and not before that. The ICC has imposed the ban on him and my request to all would be to everyone would be to help us make his return a smooth one. We can only help Shakib after his ban is over and that means that he will only be able to receive the help of our head coach after that."