Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said the break from the rigours of Test cricket will help him contribute in all the four innings of the traditional format when he makes a comeback. Shakib, who had requested the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for a six-month break from Tests, will miss the two Tests against South Africa later this month.
“In Test cricket, my role is such that I have to contribute in all four innings. If I am contributing half the time, I won’t be able to meet the team’s expectations,” Shakib was quoted as saying by espncricinfo. “I think it is best to play when I know I can give my best in all four innings. It is not important to me to just play for the sake of match fees and salary. This is my job, for sure, but I started playing out of interest, passion and love for the game. If that’s not there, I don’t see the point in playing.”
“I have been thinking about taking the break for quite some time now. I think this will help me. Since I play a lot, I can’t focus on my fitness or even try to be mentally fresh. I have been playing for 10-11 years, so I think I deserve a break,” he added. On the criticism he faced in the wake of his request, Shakib said taking a break from Tests and T20’s are two separate things as the shorter version seemed like a “holiday” for him.
Besides playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the 30-year-old Shakib is a regular in other global T20 leagues, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Australian Big Bash League (BBL). “I don’t react to those (criticisms). I know how much my body goes through. I am surprised when people question why I am not resting from limited overs matches or other T20s.
“There are really no pressures when playing those T20 matches. It seems like a holiday to me, with a bit of experience and of course, it is financially important too,” he said. Shakib, a veteran of 51 Tests and 177 One-day Internationals (ODI), also urged other members of his national team to feel free to ask for a break if they couldn’t handle the expectations of international cricket.
“If anyone feels that he or she needs a break after having played too much cricket, they should be open about it. It will be better for their career,” he said.