Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will miss out from the first Test against Sri Lanka to be held in Chattogram, after testing positive for COVID-19. Reports have claimed that the top-seeded all-rounder tested positive in the RT PCR test, which was a pre-requisite for joining the team. This is the fifth Test Hasan will miss out on since playing one against Pakistan last year in December.
Earlier, he skipped the New Zealand series due to personal reasons and then South Africa Tests due to an illness in the family. As per the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) statement, the veteran has gone into self-isolation and will undergo another test in a few days. However, replacement of Shakib has not been notified by the board, but the absence of a senior pro will surely hurt the team.
Players like Mehidy Hasan and Taskin Ahmed are already not part of the squad. Bangladesh has named all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain as a replacement for Mehidy Hasan, and the inclusion of Shoriful Isam is subject to fitness. As far as Shakib is concerned, he has played only 3 out of 11 Tests that Bangladesh has played after returning from his one-year ban. The Bangladesh batters strained to perform in the two-match Test series against South Africa earlier this year.
Shakib's absence means that their middle order will further be depleted. However, Bangladesh's recent victory against New Zealand at the Bay Oval too, without Shakib Al Hasan, will boost their confidence, and they are expected to give a good fight back to South Africa.
Bangladesh will play Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series, with the first Test scheduled on May 15 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. The second and final Test of Sri Lanka's tour of Bangladesh will start on Monday, May 23, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.