DHAKA: Bangladesh want star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to make an instant return to international cricket in a series against Sri Lanka when his anti-corruption ban ends in October, the national board president said on Saturday.

Shakib was banned for two years in 2019 for failing to report an approach by a match-fixing syndicate but one year was suspended, meaning the 33-year-old could be available from October 29.

Sri Lanka host a three-Test tour by Bangladesh later this year, with the first Test slated for Oct 24.

The national team will work with Shakib — once one of the world’s top rated all-rounders but plagued by disciplinary problems — to make him match fit, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan said.

“We will take care of him from now on. One of our physios will work one-to-one with him,” Nazmul told reporters. “We are all eagerly waiting his return. Hopefully, he will be fit, ready and join our team in Sri Lanka and play.”

Nazmul said he wanted the team to go to Sri Lanka in September to prepare for the tour, originally planned for July but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have proposed that we should shift most of the training to Sri Lanka,” Nazmul said. ”The only reason we are sending the team to Sri Lanka is because it is one of the safe countries.”

Bangladesh cricketers resumed training in July, but only one player and one trainer are allowed inside Dhaka’s main stadium at a time because of coronavirus restrictions.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2020

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