Bangladesh have suffered a huge blow ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka with news that star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will miss the match after he tested positive to Covid.
Shakib was slated to make his long-awaited return to the Test arena during the two-match series, but the 35-year-old will now be forced to isolate away from the remainder of the squad for the next five days.
While Shakib will sit out the first Test that commences in Chattogram on Sunday, it is hoped he will be available for the second and final Test of the series in Dhaka on May 23.
Shakib is currently ranked fourth on the MRF Tyres ICC Test all-rounder rankings even though he hasn't played a Test match since he featured against Pakistan at the end of last year.
The absence of Shakib is a bitter blow for a Bangladesh side that was looking to use this series as a platform to catapult themselves up the World Test Championship standings.
Bangladesh have just one Test victory in the current WTC period and sit in eighth place on the standings and just ahead of England in ninth.
Just who will replace Shakib remains to be seen, but Bangladesh did add fellow all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain to their squad at the end of last month and may include the right-hander in their final XI.
Bangladesh are already missing all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz and seamer Taskin Ahmed through injury, while young left-armer Shoriful Islam will need to pass a fitness test later in the week before he will be considered.
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