Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, the world's leading allrounder, has requested a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa, the country's board said Monday.
Bangladesh are likely to name their squad later Monday for the South Africa tour comprising two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games, starting on September 28.
"Shakib has formally written to the Board with the request for some time off from Test cricket temporarily due to the demands placed on him physically and mentally from playing continuously in recent times," BCB chief Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said.
"While he remains very important to the Bangladesh team in all formats, especially in Test cricket, the Board nevertheless acknowledges Shakib’s need for a rest and has decided to keep him out of the Test squad for the Tour of South Africa 2017.
"We hope that this break will help him overcome any exhaustion and he will return stronger and will continue to contribute for the Bangladesh team in the same way he has been doing for the last decade."
The BCB did not confirm whether Shakib would 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.
The 30-year-old has played every Test for Bangladesh since missing two games against the West Indies 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.