Dhaka - Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, the world's leading
all-rounder, has requested a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the
upcoming tour of South Africa, the country's board said on Monday.
Bangladesh are likely to name their squad later Monday for
the South Africa tour comprising two Tests, three one-day internationals and two
Twenty20 games, starting on September 28.
"Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a
break from Test cricket," Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesperson Jalal Yunus said.
"He said he will be available for other formats during
this period but he needed this break from Test cricket to refresh his body.
"We haven't yet made any decision regarding his
request. BCB president (Nazmul Hasan) will make the final decision."
If the BCB accepts Shakib's request, he will also miss the
two-Test series against Sri Lanka at home in December-January.
Shakib starred in Bangladesh's maiden Test win over
Australia last month, claiming 10 wickets and scoring 84 runs.
The 30-year-old has played every Test for Bangladesh since
missing two games against the West Indies in 2014 because of suspension.
His request for the Test break comes amid concerns over
player fatigue, as well as criticism that players are prioritising earning
money over representing their countries.
Shakib is a regular at franchise-based Twenty20 tournaments
around the world, and earned $712 000 from four Twenty20 competitions in 2016,
according to Bangladesh's Daily Star.