Rajshahi Royals skipper Andre Russell said on Monday that ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s absence will be felt in the upcoming edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL).
Russell had a close relationship with Shakib as far as playing in BPL is concerned as on most occasions he played under Shakib’s leadership in BPL.Shakib is absent from BPL as he is serving a two-year ban with one year of that suspended for failing to report corrupt charges.
“The whole of BBPL will miss Shakib. He is a very good player. Smart bowler and a good hitter of the ball and he had a fantastic ICC World Cup 2019 recently,” Russell told reporters on Monday.
“He is still a young guy. I went through a one year ban as well, so it is a matter of coming back strongly and focusing on the right thing,” he said.
Russell said that he is honored to lead Royals in the upcoming BPL.
“I am honoured to be given the responsibility of leading the team. Regardless, I always look at myself as a player in the heat. I have a very big role in any team I play for. It is going to be something new for me. I have led Jamaica Tallawahs before. It will be interesting and I am up for a challenge,” said Russell.
“I won’t say that we have the best squad but we have a good team on paper. It is a good start for any captain, coach and any team. We want to use the experience of each player, which will put us in the right foot. We have Shoaib Malik, myself, Ravi Bopara and Haratullah Zazai and Liton Das at top. We have a few good local talents. I have been watching videos of them, seeing what they can do. We have a balanced squad including local and international fast bowlers. We have good options,” he said adding that he came to BPL leaving behind Big Bash League as for him Bangladesh is like home away from home.“The tournament is more fun. It is shorter. So less time away from home. I get a lot of love here. The hospitality and everything is amazing. You get a warm welcome on this side of the world. I never really think twice. Once I heard this was happening, new rules, new teams, new owners, new franchise. I was interested to be part of it. I wanted to get the ball rolling,” concluded Russell.