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BPL 2024: Shoaib Malik Back in Action After Personal Trip to Dubai

Shoaib Malik, the former Pakistan captain and all-rounder, has resumed his Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) stint with Fortune Barishal after a brief departure due to personal and professional reasons.

Malik, who had played three matches for Barishal before leaving for Dubai last week, will be available for the team’s last match of the Sylhet leg against Khulna Tigers on February 3.

According to sources, Malik decided to rejoin the Barishal squad after a request from the team’s captain Tamim Iqbal, who also discussed with him his batting position. Malik, who had batted at No.6 in the previous matches, will now move up the order and bat at No.4 for Barishal.

Malik’s sudden exit from the BPL had sparked rumours of his involvement in match-fixing, as some media outlets cited his three no-balls in a single over of a BPL match as evidence. However, both Malik and the Barishal franchise dismissed these rumours as baseless and false.

Mizanur Rahaman, the owner of Barishal, said in a video message that Malik had left the BPL due to personal reasons and not because of any wrongdoing.

“The news about Malik’s involvement in match-fixing is fake. Malik is a good cricketer and his performance for our side was really impressive. He was set to return on January 27 but extended his trip to February 5 due to personal reasons. We are happy to have him back and we will use his services if he is needed in the future,” Rahaman said.

Malik also issued a statement on his official Twitter account, clarifying the reason for his departure and refuting the match-fixing allegations.

“I had a thorough discussion with our captain, Tamim Iqbal, and we mutually planned the way forward. I had to leave Bangladesh for a pre-committed media engagement in Dubai. I want to emphasise the importance of exercising caution when it comes to rumours, especially those circulating recently. I want to make it clear that I strongly refute these baseless rumours. It’s crucial for everyone to verify information before believing and spreading it. Falsehoods can harm reputations and create unnecessary confusion. Let’s prioritise accuracy and rely on credible sources to ensure a clear understanding of the facts. Thank you for your understanding and diligence,” Malik said.

Barishal, who are currently fifth in the BPL points table with two wins and three losses, will hope that Malik’s return will boost their chances of qualifying for the playoffs. They will face Khulna, who are second in the table with four wins and one loss, in a crucial match on Saturday.

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