Ahead of the all-important final of the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the captains of the two sides - Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal - were supposed to pose with the winners' trophy at 2.45 pm on Thursday. But Barishal skipper Shakib Al Hasan was absent and instead the vice-captain Nurul Hasan was sent to pose with the trophy alongside Comilla captain Imrul Kayes.
Sabbir Khan, team manager of the Fortune Barishal team, initially said that Shakib was absent due to stomach upset. He also informed that Shakib did not turn up at practice on Thursday. But Nurul Hasan's statement suggested otherwise. According to him, Shakib was 'probably' hitting the gym at that time.
"Shakib is absent because of a stomach upset," Sabbir Khan told the journalists before the photo session. When asked if it was food poisoning, Sabbir Khan said that it was 'something like that'.
"I think he is probably hitting the gym," Nurul said later. "We had an optional practice session yesterday. I think it's the management's decision to send me here. I don't know more than that."
Nurul was then informed of Shakib's 'stomach upset'. When asked about that, Nurul replied, "I said that it was the management's decision. I saw him in the gym in the morning. I don't know what happened after that."
Barishal's coach Khaled Mahmud stated, "He practised yesterday. Today he hit the gym. I don't really push him. He has batted on only three or four days during the course of the tournament. He told me today that he wasn't feeling well and did not want to go. I said it was okay."
But Shakib was absent due to none of the above mentioned reasons. He was spotted shooting for a TVC for Seven Up. The commercial was directed by Amitabh Reza Chowdhury.
As per the standard procedure, if someone leaves the Managed Event Environment (MEE), he must show a Covid negative certificate before re-entering it. Shakib underwent a Covid test on Thursday and tested negative. The news has been confirmed to The Business Standard (TBS) by Monjur Hossain Chowdhury, one of the physicians of the BCB.
"As Shakib left the team hotel, he had to undergo a Covid test which he did on Thursday. We have received the report and he has tested negative. He is eligible to play the final," he said.