August 2, 2019 / 7:27 AM / 2 months ago

Cricket: Shakib wants rotation policy to preserve players, boost bench

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh should adopt a rotation policy to prolong the careers of their top players and unearth new talents, premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has said.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Bangladesh v Afghanistan - The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - June 24, 2019 Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan celebrates the wicket of Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley/File Photo

The 32-year-old, undoubtedly the best cricketer Bangladesh has ever produced, was granted a break from the team’s short tour of Sri Lanka for three one-day internationals after his heroics at the World Cup in England.

“A player can’t play all the time, they need to take breaks,” he told reporters in Dhaka.

“The responsibility falls on both sides. It is also the responsibility to understand (when) a player is saying that I need or a break, or the coaching staff is telling a player, you need a break. So both sides must understand.”

The southpaw cited the example of India and said a rotation policy would boost bench strength for the South Asian country where cricket is the most popular sport.

“I will give you an example from India. Their players had the least injuries in their history last year. One of the main reason was their rotation policy. It helped them build many players who got exposure,” Shakib said.

“At the same time, their players were fresh when they came to the side. Everyone, including Virat Kohli, got rested for one of the formats.

“When these breaks are in place, you can give more opportunity to players and you will have players in the pipeline as well. So we have to plan by looking at the bigger picture.”

Bangladesh witnessed a spate of injuries to their players during the World Cup, where they finished eighth among 10 teams.

Shakib was the lone shining light for Bangladesh during the tournament, finishing third on the run-getters’ list with 606 runs from eight innings while also picking up 11 wickets with his left-arm orthodox spin bowling.

He pleaded for all the stakeholders of the game to be on the same page to take cricket forward in Bangladesh.

“If we are to do this, we must have very good coordination between coaching staff, board and players,” he said. “Otherwise there will be criticism if the right message is not sent.

“I am sure the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) are planning for the next three or four years. We have already appointed two coaches, and once all of them get together, the BCB can put forth their strategy.

“If we can work together, I think our cricket can go forward like it did in the last four years.”

Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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