12 Jan 2015

Bangladesh's Hossain gets bail, eligible for World Cup

8:18 am on 12 January 2015

A court in Bangladesh has granted bail to national cricketer Rubel Hossain in a rape case filed by a 19-year-old actress, clearing the way for him to play in next month's one-day World Cup.

Bangladesh cricketer Rubel Hossain

Bangladesh cricketer Rubel Hossain Photo: Photosport

The 24-year-old pace bowler, who's yet to be charged, can be freed later today and join a practice session with the rest of Bangladesh's World Cup squad.

Hossain's lawyer said the court has granted him bail until the end of the World Cup, adding the order was granted in view of "national interest" since he has been a key player in the team.

The fast bowler was remanded in custody on Friday in the latest twist to a sensational case over allegations that he raped Bengali actress Naznin Akter Happy.

Police last month launched a probe after Happy lodged a complaint that Hossain had backed away from an earlier pledge to marry her after a months-long "intimate affair".

The remand had placed a huge question mark over Hossain's appearance in the World Cup after selectors picked him in the 15-man squad.

Authorities had even lined up a replacement for Hossain with Bangladeshi courts rarely granting bail in rape cases until formal charges are filed.

After hearing the complaint, a court ordered medical tests on Happy and told both the alleged victim and Hossain to undergo DNA tests.

The scandal has gripped the conservative Muslim-majority country for weeks, with Happy telling reporters she would withdraw the case if Rubel agrees to marry her.

The fast bowler has rejected the accusations of rape or making a marriage proposal, saying Happy was trying to "blackmail" him.

Rubel has played 22 Tests for Bangladesh and taken 32 wickets. He has also taken 69 wickets in 53 one-day international matches.