Bangladesh release Shakib from New Zealand-bound squad

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Shakib Al Hasan (ICC - Twitter)
Shakib Al Hasan (ICC - Twitter)

Bangladesh on Wednesday released all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan from the squad for a series in New Zealand and replaced him with uncapped all-rounder Fazle Rabbi.

Shakib was initially included in the squad for the two-Test series, starting on January 1.

But the all-rounder sought leave citing family reasons, prompting the Bangladesh Cricket Board to make the change.

The 35-year all-rounder was one of the rare shining lights in the team's innings and eight-run defeat against Pakistan in the second Test that ended in Dhaka on Wednesday.

He top-scored for the side in both innings with 33 and 63 runs respectively, and in the process completed the double of 4,000 Test runs and 200 wickets in 59 Tests, the quickest in history and beating a record long held by Ian Botham.

It was only the third Test he played this year.

He missed four of Bangladesh's seven 2021 Tests -- two to injury and two to prior commitments with the Indian Premier League.

The BCB said his replacement Rabbi had been the leading scorer in the recently concluded National Cricket League where he made 630 runs at an average of 60.

Bangladesh's team will leave home for New Zealand on Friday.

In a further development, the BCB said former Sri Lankan captain Rangana Herath will reunite with the team in New Zealand after agreeing on a two-year term as spin bowling coach of the national team up to November 2023.

Herath had earlier been the team's spin consultant for the away series against Zimbabwe this year followed by the home series against Australia and New Zealand and the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.

He is the most successful left-arm spinner in the history of Test cricket with 433 wickets taken in a remarkable career lasting two decades.

The first Test against New Zealand will be held at Tauranga from January 1-5. Christchurch will host the second Test from January 9-13.

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