Sabbir Rahman set to return for New Zealand ODIs

Sabbir is back

Bangladesh Cricket Board is set to reduce the international ban on Sabbir Rahman, making him available for selection for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand. Bangladesh will tour New Zealand right after completing the BPL in the first week of February for a three-match series.

Sabbir was slapped a six-month ban from international cricket by the BCB in September 2018 for his repeated off-field issues, the latest one being his social network fiasco where he was alleged to have abused and threatened a fan on Facebook.

According to the sanction imposed, Sabbir’s ban is due to continue until February 28 but Cricbuzz understands it has been reduced on the insistence of ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza who was impressed by his performance in the ongoing BPL 2019. After lukewarm performances in the first five games for Sylhet Sixers, Sabbir finally managed to score 85 runs against Rangpur Riders on Saturday (January 19).

“I won’t say that he (Sabbir Rahman) had done exceptionally but he did play well against us in the last game. He was included in the national team because of the ability he showed in the previous game, and he has the ability to play such type of cricket. We have high hopes from him and I hope he will be able to continue [playing like that],” Mortaza said on Tuesday (January 22).

Cricbuzz, however, also understands that BCB’s disciplinary committee has indicated to the board that Sabbir’s ban ended in December itself. “We are considering him [for selection] as the disciplinary committee informed [us] that his international ban ended in December,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz.

Sabbir has been charged in the past for a number of issues like physically assaulting a fan during a National Cricket League match in Rajshahi, using abusive words while replying to a Facebook post of a fan and hitting team-mate Mehedi Hasan during the Afghanistan series. At the time of being slapped the six-month ban for the Facebook fiasco, the hard-hitting batsman was still serving a six-month ban from domestic cricket and had been denied a national contract along with a fine of Tk 20 lakh. In 2016, he was fined 30 per cent of his BPL contract money for bringing a female guest to his hotel room.

BCB is scheduled to announce the team on Wednesday (January 23

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