Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Bangladesh may just have gone back after a gutsy display in the Asia Cup in the UAE, but it’s the injured small finger of Shakib Al Hasan which seems to be trending more there. The top ranked all-rounder is facing a long wait on the sidelines with the infected finger on his bowling arm — while it’s anybody’s guess if it’s going to rule out the 31-year-old from next year’s ICC World Cup.

There was a tinge of controversy when Nazimul Hassan, president of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), raised an eyebrow at a press conference on Tuesday by saying: “We are all very surprised. How could things get so serious and that amount of pus gather on one day?,” referring to the emergency procedure that Shakib had to undergo in Dhaka soon after rushing back from the UAE in the middle of their Asia Cup campaign.

The injury on the base of his little finger, which developed into a major infection, had Shakib flying to Melbourne under Dr Greg Hoy for a possible surgery. According to reports in Bangladesh media, the infection is now under control, though he will be kept on antibiotics for another week before he can leave for home to begin rehabilitation.

“The infection is under control, but full recovery will take time though,” said Shakib, now No. 2 in the ICC rankings for ODI all-rounders and top-ranked among Test all-rounders. The Australian specialist will review the situation by the end of the week and if the pain subsides on its own, then Shakib can avoid the surgery — though holding a cricket bat is out of question for next three months.

“The infection is my biggest tension. Unless it comes down to zero per cent, no surgeon will put a hand on it. If they do it, it will go into the bone, and if it goes into the bone, the entire hand will be spoilt,” an apprehensive Shakib told the local media on the eve of his departure Down Under on October 5.

Shakib had sustained the injury during the final of a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh as far back as in January but continued to play with it. The cricketer, in consultation with his country’s board, had decided to put off a possible surgery until after the Asia Cup but the infection midway through the tournament scuppered his plans. The pus formation led to so much pain that the cricketer left Dubai midway the Asia Cup for Bangladesh — where he got the pus removed before leaving for Australia.