Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, is intent on getting a bit of rest from competitive cricket after the upcoming IPL, as he has not taken any substantial time off the game for more than two years. That could mean skipping a stint on the English county circuit this season, following his second season with Kolkata Knight Riders - the IPL ends on May 27, and Shakib is yet to firm up his county plans.
"The county cricket [stint] hasn't been confirmed yet. I still don't know if I would play [county cricket], even if I am fit," Shakib told ESPNcricinfo. "I haven't stopped [playing] for the last three years, so I am thinking that only if I get a 15 to 20 days rest after the IPL, I will go and play in England. If they [whichever county team he might sign with this season] tell me to go and join them straight after the IPL, I won't go, that's what I have planned."
Shakib has had only three major breaks from cricket ever since making his international debut in 2006. He had about three months off in 2008, a few months in early 2009 and, more recently, a break from mid-August to mid-October in 2009, between an away ODI series against Zimbabwe and a domestic Twenty20 tournament. Ever since, Shakib has risen significantly in world rankings and has grown in stature as an international cricketer by playing in the county championship for Worcestershire and the IPL for the Kolkata franchise. This apart, he has turned out in several domestic competitions in Bangladesh.