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Shakib available for Tests in South Africa, confirms BCB

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Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan has said on Monday (February 28) that allrounder Shakib al Hasan will be available for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa.

Shakib has earlier made himself unavailable due to the impending clash of the series with IPL 2022 but has agreed to participate now after not being picked in the auction..

"Shakib will be playing the Tests in South Africa. He had given us a letter that he wanted to skip Test cricket for six months due to the IPL, but we asked him to be available for the home series against Sri Lanka and he agreed," said Nazmul. "He wanted to skip the series as he wanted to play in the IPL but now since he is not going [for IPL], he will play travel to South Africa.

"Today I told him that I will talk with him regarding his future plans after he returns from South Africa, and he's agreed."

The announcement comes barely hours after BCB cricket operation chairman Jalal Yunus told media that they are keen to sit down with the allrounder to chalk out a future plan.

"Basically we will ask him for his plan for this year. There have been media reports that he doesn't want to play Tests, but we know that he wants to play Tests," said Jalal. He added that they will give freedom to Shakib to inform the board about his preferences rather than being forced to play any format as the BCB doesn't want to consider any player as their "employee".

"It's not a matter of pick and choose. He might have some problems, so we will consider him if he tells us that he wants to play a certain number of matches in a format," Jalal said. "Nobody is bound to play every match. The BCB is not an organization where we consider players as mere employees. They are also stakeholders. They have the freedom to discuss how many matches they want to play."

Shakib has already taken leave from Test series on three previous occasions citing personal reasons. He skipped the Test series during the tour of South Africa in 2017-18 and then again last year the Sri Lanka Tests due to his IPL commitments. Shakib also made himself unavailable during the Test series against New Zealand earlier this year.

Bangladesh have played 26 Tests since the tour of South Africa while Shakib has featured in only eight of those, also missing out a few due to injury and a one year ICC ban for not reporting corrupt approaches.

Meanwhile, Nazmul also confirmed that Champaka Ramanayke, Bangladesh High Performance head coach, will travel with the team during their tour of South Africa.

Champaka is currently working with the Test specialists in a camp at Bogra that will run till March 7.

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