All-rounder Shakib has hit out at the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for suggesting that he does not want to play the longest format of the game. Shakib has clarified that he just doesn’t want to play the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka as he wants to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) for preparing himself for this year’s T20 World Cup which will be played in India. “These two Tests are our last matches in the World Test Championship so it is not as if we are going to play the final. We are at the very bottom of the points table. I don’t think it makes much of a difference,” Shakib told Cricfrenzy, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“The other major reason is that the World Cup T20 is in India later this year. It is a very important tournament where we have much to achieve. There isn’t much to achieve in these two Tests. I think it is a better option that I prepare myself for something bigger,” he said.
“Those who keep saying that I don’t want to play Tests, I am sure they didn’t read my letter. I didn’t mention anywhere in my letter to the BCB that I don’t want to play Tests. I wrote that I want to play the IPL to prepare myself for the World Cup,” he added.
Shakib also said that he clarified in his letter why he wants to skip the Test series against Sri Lanka and the reason was to prepare himself for this year’s T20 World Cup. However, Akram Khan, the BCB’s cricket operations chairman had said that Shakib doesn’t want to play the two Tests against Sri Lanka, to be held from April 21 to May 3.
“Akram Bhai especially has repeatedly said that I don’t want to play Tests. I think he said it again in an interview yesterday. I guess he never read the letter. People should have a clear idea that I wanted to play the IPL even if ODIs were scheduled during this time,” said Shakib.
“I want to take advantage of playing on the same grounds and against the same players whom I will face in the World Cup T20 four months later. I can share the same experience with my Bangladesh team-mates,” he added.
Shakib has also criticised the BCB’s decision to go ahead with the Test series during the IPL.
“No other cricket board holds international matches during the IPL. Only we are playing against Sri Lanka. Do you ever see any Afghanistan cricketer playing for their country during the IPL? Their board makes sure the players are free to play in the IPL. If we don’t value our own players, how can you expect us to perform well when playing for Bangladesh,” said Shakib.
“I will let you in on a brutal truth. When overseas players come to Bangladesh, we call most of them ‘sir’ or ‘hujur’, but we do not see our experienced cricketers the same way. If the people, board, and players do not respect you, you can’t expect them to respect you,” he added.
Shakib will be seen playing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this year’s IPL after he was bought by the franchise for Rs 3.2 crore in the players’ auction held in February.