Shoaib Malik’s sudden departure from the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) raised eyebrows, leaving the Fortune Barishal team in a perplexing situation after he played only three games for them.
Fortune Barishal owner, Mizanur Rahman, disclosed in an interview with Sports 24 that Malik’s contract was initially scheduled until February 14, encompassing nine out of their 12 league games. However, Malik departed after the third game, expressing his intention to return on February 6. Mizanur, during the conversation, emphasized the team’s upcoming matches in Sylhet, indicating that Malik’s absence during this period would pose a challenge.
Contrary to this statement, Mizanur later denied making such comments to the media, addressing the situation in a video message on the franchise’s Facebook page. He acknowledged Malik’s contribution to the team, urged against making it a significant issue, and emphasized focusing on upcoming matches.
ESPNcricinfo revealed that Malik’s discontentment stemmed from batting down the order. Despite batting at No. 6 in his three appearances and scoring 7, 5*, and 17*, he was dissatisfied with the position. Malik, who bowled an over in each of the first two games, did not get a chance to bowl in the third.
Malik faced social media scrutiny during the second game against Khulna Tigers on January 22. In that match, he bowled the fourth over, overstepping three times and conceding 18 runs as Fortune Barishal failed to defend 187.
In response to unconfirmed reports about the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) anti-corruption unit investigating Malik’s no-balls, Mizanur suggested that such an inquiry would be appropriate. He expressed concern over an offspinner bowling three no-balls in an over, attributing the loss in that particular match to this incident.
Shoaib Malik’s departure and the subsequent speculations add an unexpected twist to Fortune Barishal’s BPL campaign. Ibrahim Zadran left the squad due to international commitments, while Ahmed Shehzad and Akif Javed are anticipated to join the team on Friday. The team faces challenges in maintaining focus amid these developments, especially with key players departing and potential investigations looming.