Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said he had to pull out of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to a ‘family emergency’.

Shakib was supposed to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2023. There were talks about whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) would allow him and Liton Das, who is also signed by KKR, to skip the one-off Test against Ireland and take part in the IPL.

However, the BCB didn’t let either of them go, giving them permission to leave for India after the Test. A few days after that, the situation took an unexpected turn as Shakib himself withdrew his name from the IPL.

Shakib, anyways, would not have been available for a large chunk of the IPL due to the national team’s assignments. After missing the first nine days of the competition due to the Test against Ireland, he would also have to leave India and fly to Ireland with the Bangladesh team for a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series early in May.

This was Shakib's first victory in his third stint as Test captain
Shamsul Hoque

A source informed Prothom Alo that KKR wanted to take another player in place of Shakib as the all-rounder would be unavailable for much of the tournament. The franchise then requested Shakib to take his name out of the league, which he did.

KKR have already named English opener Jason Roy as Shakib’s replacement.

However, after the one-off Test against Ireland, which the Tigers won by seven wickets, Shakib gave a different explanation for not taking part in the IPL.

“No,” Shakib said with a smile on his face when asked if he is feeling disheartened after missing a chance to play in the IPL. “Definitely, it was a good opportunity. This is the World Cup year, it will happen in India. I would’ve liked taking part in it. But a family emergency is a family emergency,” he said during the post-match press conference.

Before a journalist could finish asking who proposed taking his name out of the tournament first, Shakib stopped him and said- ‘Family emergency’.

Later, BCB president Nazmul Hassan said in a press conference, “We didn’t want to take any chances. How can we let our captain and vice-captain go? Would they (KKR) even select them for matches? Isn’t it better for them to play for the country rather than just sitting on the bench over there?”

Shakib taking his name out of IPL has also opened up a window for him to play in the list-A competition, Dhaka Premier League.

Shakib Al Hasan has signed for Mohammedan for this year's DPL
Tanvir Ahmed

He has been roped in by Mohammedan Sporting Club in this year’s DPL. But he has played just one match this season for Mohammedan, against Shiekh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in between the end of the T20 series and the only Test against Ireland.

Even in that game, which took place at the BKSP in Savar, Shakib left the field before the completion of the match and returned to Dhaka on a helicopter.

When asked if he will play in the DPL, Shakib answered, “Time will tell. Let’s see.”