Shakib available to play for Bangladesh's South Africa tour

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said he would be available to play in the tour of South Africa this month, days after BCB announced he was being rested for the series.

FILE PHOTO: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in action.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said he would be available to play in the tour of South Africa this month, days after the country's cricket board (BCB) announced he was being rested for the series.

On Wednesday, the BCB said Shakib would not be involved in international or domestic cricket until April 30 after he put in a request to be rested.

Bangladesh plays South Africa in three one-day internationals from Friday and a two-Test series that begins on March 31.

"I spoke to (BCB president Nazmul Hassan) for the last two days, when we planned the entire year. I am available for all three formats," Shakib told a news conference on Saturday.

"The board will decide when to give me rest, that includes the South Africa series. I am available for the series."

BCB chief Hassan, who was also present at the conference, said Shakib's inclusion in the squad did not mean he would play every match.

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"(Shakib) told us that he didn't want to go to South Africa," Hassan said. "We granted him leave, which was later announced to the media. Then, the day before yesterday, he told me he was mentally tired. It can happen to anyone at any time.

"He was having trouble making up his mind, so we supported him during this time. The board is always with them (the players).

"He will travel to South Africa tomorrow. If he skips a match in this series, please accept it. He wants to play. That is the most important thing."

Shakib had spoken about taking a break after the recently concluded white-ball series with Afghanistan, saying he felt like a "passenger" in the squad.

The 34-year-old did not play in the two-Test series in New Zealand in January either. His last Test was against Pakistan in December.

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