Break can extend my Test career by five years - Shakib

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Shakib Al Hasan hopes his decision to take a break from playing Test cricket for Bangladesh will help to extend his career in the five-day format by five years.

The ICC's top-ranked all-rounder requested a six-month break from a Tigers side that has become a credible force in Test cricket, emphasised by the 1-1 drawn series against Australia this month.

With Bangladesh facing tours to South Africa and the West Indies, and a home series against Sri Lanka before the Indian Premier League starts in April, Shakib may have been wary of burnout.

And the 30-year-old wants to ensure that he can go out still playing Test cricket at the end of his career.

Speaking at a press briefing arranged at his residence, Shakib said: "I wanted the slender rest so that I will be able perform for a long time. 

"This break would usher me the opportunity to play for another five years or so. I will quit playing Test cricket at the very end of my career. I want to complete my cricket career playing Test cricket.

"The time is long when someone is rested from a Test series rather than a one-day series or a T20I series.

"My prime task is to serve my country. Playing in franchise leagues outside the country is like spending holidays."