Bangladesh national team head coach Steve Rhodes on Thursday said that an average fit Sakib al Hasan could also provide better service for Bangladesh cricket in the upcoming Asia Cup, starting from September 15.
‘This guy is a tremendous cricketer. Even if Sakib was 60-70 per cent fit, you’d get a lot of cricket out of Sakib al Hasan,’ Rhodes said at a press conference in Mirpur.
The Englishman was replying to query regarding a recent report, where Sakib suggested he was only 30 per cent fit.
Rhodes played down the suggestions, saying that the all-rounder was a lot fitter than it had been reported.
‘I don’t believe he is 20-30 per cent fit. I think he is a lot fitter than that,’ said Rhodes.
‘He is in no real different state to the state in West Indies where he played some fantastic cricket with bat, ball and in the field,’ he added.
Sakib’s fitness remained as a matter of concern for Bangladesh after the 31-year old cricketer complained of a pain in his injured finger.
Sakib was keen to skip the Asia Cup to have a surgery but the Bangladesh Cricket Board forced him change his mind.
‘Everybody knows that he does need the operation,’ said Rhodes.
‘He has made that decision after speaking to the president. Asia Cup is very important to Bangladesh. He is not fully fit. But if he plays anything like he played in the Caribbean, then that will be a massive asset to Bangladesh cricket.’
Sakib scored 190 runs in three ODIs in West Indies to play key role in Bangladesh’s 2-1 win in the series. He went on to become man of the series later in the Twenty20 series, where he scored 103 runs in three matches apart from claiming three wickets.
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