"Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket," Jalal Younus, the BCB spokesman, said. © Getty Images

“Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket,” Jalal Younus, the BCB spokesman, said. © Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan, the world’s leading all-rounder, has requested the Bangladesh Cricket Board for a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa, the country’s board said on Monday (September 11).

Bangladesh are likely to name their squad later in the day for the South Africa tour comprising two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals, starting on September 28.

“Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket,” Jalal Younus, the BCB spokesman, said.

“He said he will be available for other formats during this period but he needed this break from Test cricket to refresh his body.

“We haven’t yet made any decision regarding his request. BCB president (Nazmul Hasan) will make the final decision.”

If the BCB accepts Shakib’s request, he will also miss the two-Test series against Sri Lanka at home in December-January.

Shakib starred in Bangladesh’s maiden Test win over Australia last month, claiming 10 wickets and scoring 84 runs.

Shakib, 30, has played every Test for Bangladesh since missing two games against Windies in 2014 because of suspension.

His request for the Test break comes amid concerns over player fatigue, as well as criticism that players are prioritising earning money over representing their countries.

Shakib is a regular at franchise-based Twenty20 tournaments around the world, and earned $712,000 from four Twenty20 competitions in 2016, according to Bangladesh’s Daily Star.