Shakib's fitness a contentious issue
There has been a lot of drama over Bangladesh Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan's injury, which he sustained during the tri-nation ODI series in January this year, as the all-rounder said he was still experiencing problems in his left little finger with just 10 days to go for the Asia Cup opener against Sri Lanka on September 15.
Shakib had earlier revealed that he had taken injections to reduce the pain throughout the tour of West Indies last month and also expressed a desire to undergo surgery before the Asia Cup.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan had asked Shakib to reconsider and schedule a surgery after the Asia Cup which and before the home series against Zimbabwe in October, presumably because it is a lower-profile and less demanding assignment.
The selectors named the 31-year-old in the 15-man Asia Cup squad but Shakib, currently in the United States and will directly join the team in Dubai, told The Daily Star on Tuesday that he is only 20-30 per cent fit and still has pain in his hand.
“I would say I am 20-30 percent fit right now. I still have pain in my hand, so honestly I don't know how I would bat or bowl. I am out of practice for some time so I have no idea,” Shakib told The Daily Star during a telephone interview.
When asked whether carrying such injury mentally affects top players like him, he said: “I don't know. Normally top players don't play if they have an injury. Let's see when I go there -- if things don't look good I might go straight for surgery from there.”
According to BCB's chief physician Debashish Chowdhury, playing with such injuries is more a mental than physical issue and that the decision is up to Shakib, whether he would feel comfortable playing in the Asia Cup before surgery.
“So far, the update is that Shakib is yet to decide whether he will be able to play the Asia Cup. As far as we know he will consult a doctor in New York and then take the decision. He played in that situation before and after that he was rested and the condition is supposed to improve after taking rest. My observation is it's more a mental thing than a physical issue and even if he plays with the current situation it's not that it will have a big damage. But if he does not feel comfortable, then it's difficult for a player to play. Overall, the decision is totally up to Shakib,” Debashish told The Daily Star yesterday.
Meanwhile, chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that he still has not heard the latest about Shakib's injury.
“We have no idea about his current injury situation as he played in the West Indies by taking injections to reduce the pain, and was supposed to undergo surgery after the Asia Cup. I don't want to make any comment without knowing the fact. But obviously, it's always challenging for the selectors when a player like Shakib is carrying such an injury,” said Minhajul.
When asked whether the board is aware of Shakib's current situation, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said: “Chief selector is involved in the selection process and he will be in touch with the concerned authorities and communicate accordingly. When a final squad is given you should consider that it's given after discussions and considering any problems of the player. If there is any need for further change or if Shakib feels, he can inform or the physio or the concerned department can inform the selectors and then the needful will be done.”