IPL 2021: Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in a U-turn has allowed star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to join Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of IPL 2021. Shakib will join the KKR camp in Chennai on March 28.
Since the IPL 2021 auction, there has been doubt over Bangladeshi players’ participation in the IPL with BCB scheduling a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka from April 21. Shakib Al Hasan, who was picked up by KKR following his return to international cricket, was the most talked-about name. The former World No 1 all-rounder said he would play in the IPL instead of the Test series.
While BCB initially allowed Shakib the No Objection Certificate to participate in the IPL, the board was not happy with his lack of commitment to the national team. Days after saying it would allow all its player NOC to take part in the IPL, BCB said it would reconsider the NOC given to Shakib following a public feud over it.
Shakib’s comments about Bangladesh scheduling a series during IPL did not go down well with BCB Chairman Akram Khan. But after Shakib said his comments were misinterpreted, Ismail Haider, BCB Director, clarified that the all-rounder’s “NOC will remain as it is and he can go and take part in IPL” as per Cricbuzz.
Now that the air is clear, Shakib Al Hasan will arrive in India on March 28 to join the KKR camp ahead of their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. After a 7-day quarantine, he will be able to begin training with the squad.
However, if KKR qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2021, Shakib may miss out on the final few games as his NOC is valid till May 18. Shakib will be required to join the Bangladesh squad for a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka that will begin on May 20.
Shakib returned to Bangladesh from the US on March 22 following a groin injury that forced him out of the second Test against West Indies at home. He began training at his own academy to regain match fitness. That will come as good news for KKR as Shakib could play an important role.
Apart from Shakib, Mustafizur Rahman is the other Bangladeshi player in the IPL 2021. The Rajasthan Royals pacer earlier said he would choose national commitment over IPL. It is not clear whether he will be available for RR in the initial period of the IPL as he remains with the Bangladesh squad in New Zealand. He is expected to be picked for the T20I series against the Kiwis and may miss out on a few games for RR.