Published: May 15, 2009
Shakib Al Hasan made a welcome return to top-level cricket with a three-wicket haul in one of two Twenty20 warm-up matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
The world’s No 1 all-rounder in one-day cricket has been out of action since end of February due to an inflammation at the front of the pelvis within the pubic bone and muscle attachments. The condition is known as Osteitis Pubis (OP) and can cause acute and chronic groin pain.
Chief selector Rafiqul Alam expressed his satisfaction seeing Shakib back in the field. “Actually he has been batting and bowling for the last 15 days in the nets but today he came out to bowl and field. He says he feel okay,” said the former national cricketer.
The 22-year-old sounded relieved to be back to cricket after such a long time and was confident of a quick recovery. “It felt good out there. The pain was originally on the right side but it has receded a lot. I have been doing everything in the nets but this is the first time I have bowled in a match situation in over two months,” Shakib told TigerCricket.com.
“I have to speak to the physio and see when I can bat because that involves running. Hopefully it will be against the Maharashtra team next week. I am batting in practice however and haven’t faced any problems. The rehab programme will continue but I am definitely feeling much better already.”
Shakib’s left-arm spin accounted for Bangladesh A batsmen Sharifullah, Suharwardi Shuvo and Mahbubul Alam Robin in the second Twenty20 tie that the national team won by 49 runs.
Apart from Shakib’s return, the two matches gave some good signs for the Tigers including the form of Tamim Iqbal and Syed Rasel, who picked up five wickets in the two matches.
“Tamim (Iqbal) has been good in every match and (Syed) Rasel looks to be in good form,” pointed Rafiq who added that among the two new additions, only Mithun Ali is showing promise, scoring 25 off 20 balls with in the second match.
But the Chittagong left-hander seems to be the only batsman who is scoring big in the 20-over version but Rafiq pointed out the condition of wicket and the players’ fitness level.
“The wickets are different, yesterday (Wednesday) it was grassy while today (Thursday) the wicket was dry. I also think we should give the players time to recover after the PCL,” opined Rafiq.
The former national batsman was however pretty confident with the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Shahadat Hossain despite the trio not having fired in the last two days of Twenty20 cricket. Rahim and Riyad had a poor time with the bat while Shahadat gave 25 from his three overs in the first game in the morning.
“(Mahmudullah) Riyad seems to be in form and I think Mushfiqur (Rahim) is a good enough batsman to get runs. Among the bowlers, Shahadat (Hossain) bowled well and Rubel (Hossain) is bowling fast,” added Rafiq.
Back to the day’s proceedings and the national line-up had a wretched time in the first match. Barring Tamim’s blazing 66 off 52 balls, none of the England-bound cricketers reached double figures. Eventually the Tigers were kept at 133-9 from 20 overs which the second-string side chased in 19.2 overs with Mehrab Hossain hitting 48 off 45 balls.
In the second match, the Bangladesh batsmen got starts with Mithun’s 25 and 20 each from Rokibul Hasan and Nayeem Islam but none of them pressed on as they added together 140-7 in 20 overs. Bangladesh A were bowled out for 91 runs in 16.5 overs.
Some of the national cricketers will now take on Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) in three Twenty20 matches starting on Sunday.