Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has allowed disgraced pacer Shahadat Hossain to play domestic matches weeks after the cricketer apologised to the nation for torturing an 11-year-old girl he employed as a maid..
While lifting the ban on the disgraced 29-year-old bowler, charged with beating a minor maid, for domestic matches, the BCB said that it had been done on "humanitarian considerations".
Hossain, who was banned from all forms of cricket in 2015, will now be free to play domestic cricket including the lucrative Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after he made an emotional appeal seeking a return to cricket.
The pacer though will continue to serve an international ban until his criminal charges are settled, the BCB said on Tuesday.
"He, however, will not be considered for national team selection until his legal issues are settled," BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
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.
The BCB has said that reports of Hossain torturing a minor were 'utterly embarrassing' and banned the pacer from all forms of cricket until the charges were resolved.
In September last year, Hossain filed a complaint with the police, claiming his house help had gone missing. But hours later, the 11-year-old girl surfaced to accuse the cricketer and his wife of subjecting her to regular torture.
Police said one Khandkar Mozzamel Haque found the girl at Mirpur crying on a roadside, her eyes bruised and swollen and took her to the local police station. Haque later filed the case.
Bangladesh police charged the pacer and his wife, Nritto Shahadat, with charges of assault and torture.
Television footage showed her frail and thin looking appearance and police said one of her hands had been burnt with a hot cooking paddle.
The couple were absconding until police arrested the pace bowler's wife on October 4. The next day, Hossain surrendered in the court of the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate, which rejected his bail plea and sent him to prison.
On December 1, the same court granted bail to his wife. Hossain then moved the court of the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge for bail, but was turned down.
On December 8, the High Court granted him bail until March 31, 2016.
A judge has ordered that the couple would face trial and if convicted they would face up to 14 years in jail.
But according to media reports said the couple and the girl's family may agree to a financial settlement that would see her withdrawing the allegations.
Hossain has played 38 Tests, 51 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and six Twenty20 Internationals.
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