The all-rounder did not travel to Kolkata with the team after their loss to South Africa in Mumbai.Instead, he decided to visit Dhaka. That Shakib was in the Bangladesh capital came to light when he was spotted there, with the team management remaining silent on his visit home.
Shakib reached Dhaka on Wednesday morning and went straight to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium nets to train under childhood mentor Nazmul Abedeen Fahim.
Bangladesh’s biggest star, who was at the peak of his form in the 2019 World Cup in England, when he scored 606 runs and claimed 11 wickets, has struggled at this tournament. He has managed just 56 runs from four innings so far, while taking only six wickets.
It did not take long for the issue to snowball and Shakib had to rush back to rejoin the side in Kolkata on Thursday evening, cutting short his reported three-day Dhaka trip. Questions were raised about Shakib’s decision when almost an army of support staff, including head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and team director Khaled Mahmud, have been travelling with the side. S Sriram, Nic Pothas, Rangana Herath, Allan Donald, Shane McDermott and Faisal Hossain are also there in various capacities.
Pacer Taskin Ahmed tried to play down the issue. “We should appreciate that more, I think. He (Shakib) went for some improvements,” he said. to the mega event was also marked by controversy when Tamim Iqbal hit out at the BCB a day after he was dropped from World Cup squad on fitness grounds, saying he would have been ready in time for the tournament and that the board had “intentionally” created a tough environment for him.
Mahmudullah also struck a note of discord after hitting a century against South Africa after being out for six months. “I do want to talk about a lot of things but this is not the right time for that,” Mahmudullah said, hinting that not everything is right in the dressing room.