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Kolkata to be without Shakib when IPL resumes

Kolkata to be without Shakib when IPL resumes

Post by on Monday, June 21, 2021

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Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to be without Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan when the Indian Premier League returns to action.

The all-rounder had previously been given permission to feature in the world's biggest domestic T20 tournament by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

However, after the competition was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, it now looks unlikely Shakib will be able to rejoin his KKR teammates when the UAE stages the rescheduled event.

The IPL will now restart in September, but Bangladesh's international commitments mean the 34-year-old won't get another no-objection certificate (NOC) from the BCB this time around.

That is another blow this season for Kolkata, who had endured a tough start to the tournament when losing five of their seven matches so far.

Star all-rounder Shakib had made them a popular team to follow in his homeland, where they had been priced around 7.0 to lift the trophy with bet365 and others on the betting site listing in Bangladesh and India.

They already face an uphill task to reach the playoffs under new skipper Eoin Morgan, but Shakib's absence will mean the England player has even less options to turn to at a crucial stage.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan outlined why Shakib would be unlikely to feature.

Speaking to Ekattor TV, he said: "Given our schedule, it is almost impossible (for Shakib) to get the NOC. I don't see any possibilities, nor any opportunity.

"The World Cup is coming up, which makes every game important for us."

The position of the BCB is no surprise after the organisation had previously come close to revoking Shakib's first NOC to allow his Indian Premier League participation.

He accused them of "misrepresenting" his initial request to feature in the tournament but was eventually granted permission after a slight dispute.

That meant he missed his country's Test series in Sri Lanka so he could play in the IPL. A thigh injury had previously kept him out of a tour of New Zealand in March.

All of that made getting a second NOC very unlikely given the fact Bangladesh are now keen to ramp up their preparations for this year's T20 World Cup.

Meanwhile, it is a similar situation for the only other Bangladesh cricketer in the IPL, Mustafizur Rahman.

He featured for the Rajasthan Royals this year but is also unlikely to be handed an NOC for the same reasons.

After touring Zimbabwe for a Test, three ODIs and three T20Is in June-July, Bangladesh will welcome Australia for five T20Is in July-August.

New Zealand will then tour Bangladesh with three T20Is before England arrive for three ODIs and three T20Is in the lead up to the World Cup.

The importance of the next series of matches for Bangladesh was underlined by Akram Khan, BCB's cricket operations chairman.

He said: "We have to consider the team training together.

"We want to go into the England series with full strength. Both the ODI Super League and the World Cup T20 are important to us."