Dhaka [Bangladesh], May 13 (ANI): Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has tested negative for COVID-19 and is likely to play the first Test against Sri Lanka at Chattogram which begins on May 15.
Hasan had initially been ruled out of the first test against Sri Lanka to be held at Chattogram, after testing positive for COVID-19. As per ESPNCricinfo, the star all-rounder tested negative for the disease in a PCR and a rapid antigen test, which were a pre-requisite for joining the team.
The 35-year-old is Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in Tests and is ranked the number four Test all-rounder worldwide, as well as number one in one-day internationals.
Bangladesh Head coach Russell Domingo, however, didn’t sound positive about the prospect of adding Shakib to the squad so soon after recovering from Covid.
“Anybody would want a fully-fit Shakib in your best XI, but it is very difficult to play if he is 50-60 per cent fit. Coming straight into a Test match, we need to check his fitness and assess where he is. He has just come off Covid, and he hasn’t played much cricket. He’s obviously a big player for us and balances the team. But we need to see how he is tomorrow. He hasn’t batted or bowled for the last two or three weeks. It is five days of cricket. It is hot. There are all sorts of things to consider,” ESPNcricinfo quotes Russell Domingo as saying.
“I have had Covid badly, so the energy is not quite the same. You can’t go into a (Test match) straightaway. It is not a T20 or ODI which is done in six or seven overs. It is going to happen for over five days. Of course, we want him to play, he is one of the best cricketers that’s ever played. But we need to make sure that he gives himself the best chance to perform and fulfill his role. Bowl at least 15 overs a day, bat for three or four overs in the top six,” he added.
Domingo said that they are considering Mosaddek Hossain, who was earlier drafted into the Test side as an additional replacement for Mehidy Hasan Miraz, because he gives them the bowling option while still batting in the top seven. Hasan skipped the New Zealand series due to personal reasons and then South Africa tests due to an illness in the family. Ever since his return to the national side after his one-year ban, he has only featured in three out of eleven tests played by his side.
Bangladesh will play Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series, with the first test scheduled on May 15 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. (ANI)