Bangladesh lifted a ban on disgraced fast bowler Shahadat Hossain today, allowing him to play domestic matches weeks after he apologised for torturing an 11-year-old girl he employed as a maid.
Hossain was banned from all forms of cricket last year by the Bangladesh Cricket Board after he became a subject of investigation for alleged criminal offence, which drew huge media interest.
The BCB said Hossain was now free to play domestic cricket including the lucrative Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after he made an emotional appeal seeking a return to cricket.
“He, however, will not be considered for national team selection until his legal issues are settled,” BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said, adding the ban was lifted on “humanitarian considerations”.
Hossain, who has denied abusing the girl in the past, apologised on April 28 for what he called his “misdeed” and said he had made “a mistake”.
“I regret the unwarranted incident I was involved in and apologise to the whole nation,” the cricketer said in an emotional statement.
Bangladeshi police charged the 29-year-old pacer and his wife, Nritto Shahadat, with charges of assault and torture last year after the young girl was found crying on a roadside, her eyes bruised and swollen.
The couple went into hiding after police raided their house in September when the girl complained that they had beaten and tortured her.
Television footage showed her frail and thin looking appearance and police said one of her hands had been burnt with a hot cooking paddle.
Hossain spent two months in custody after he handed himself in to police on October 5 and has since been released on bail, as was his wife.
A judge has ordered that the couple would face trial and if convicted they would face up to 14 years in jail.
But a source said the couple and the girl’s family may agree to a financial settlement that would see her withdrawing the allegations.