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Khulna will feel the absence of Shakib







Gemcon Khulna head coach Mizanur Rahman Babul admitted that the absence of Shakib Al Hasan will affect the team’s balance in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup final as they will miss his service in the batting, bowling and as an experienced campaigner.

While Shakib Al Hasan could play the role of two players simultaneously because of being a genuine all-rounder, his presence and experience is something that is more counted for Khulna.

Shakib Al Hasan is set to miss the final due to be with his father-in-law, who stays in Minnesota, USA, is seriously ill. The all-rounder will leave the country tonight.

“Of course [Shakib’s absence will affect us],” Mizanur Rahman Babul said here today.

“Shakib Al Hasan is Shakib Al Hasan. Having Shakib Al Hasan in the team means pressure on the opposing team. We will simultaneously miss a left arm spinner, a batsman, an experienced player. But at the end of the day, family is family. Family always comes first, then sports. His father-in-law is ill and so he must be with him at this moment. I wish his father-in-law’s speedy recovery.”

The premier all-rounder of the world had returned to competitive cricket through the Bangabandhu T20 Cup last month following one year’s ban from all forms of cricket, imposed by the ICC due to his failure to report a corrupt approach from a bookie.

He was not so successful in the tournament as he scored 125 runs and took six wickets in nine matches he played in the tournament.

But the all-rounder scored 28 runs and took a wicket for Gemcon Khulna in the first Qualifier against Gazi Group Chattogram and indicated to hit back in the form, following his poor form throughout the group stage.

“He came to play competitive cricket after a long time and so it was natural that he won’t be with his usual form. He even said it would have been good for him if he could play a four-day or one-day game. But he had to start with T20 cricket in which he won’t get enough time to be set. I think he was gradually coming back to the form,” Babul said.

“We are in the final but the way we have played throughout the tournament is not good enough. However big players always fire in big matches, which we saw in the first Qualifier. All of our big players including Shakib fired in that match,” he concluded.