DHAKA - Fugitive Bangladesh cricketer Shahadat Hossain was remanded in jail on Monday shortly after he surrendered to a court over allegations of beating his 11-year-old maid, his lawyer said.

Hossain, who has played 38 Tests for Bangladesh, went into hiding more than three weeks ago after police sought his arrest for allegedly abusing the girl he employed illegally in his home. Hossain’s lawyer, Kazi Nazibullah Hiru, told the court in Dhaka that the pacer was a national hero who should be released on bail because his country needed him on the Bangladesh side.

The 29-year-old cricketer, who has also played 51 one-day internationals for Bangladesh, was suspended from all forms of the game on September 13 over the allegations. “We appealed to the court that Shahadat should be released on bail for the greater interest of the country,” Hiru told AFP. “We pleaded that he is not guilty as he was not present on the day the girl was allegedly beaten. “We said Shahadat is needed in the national team and he is a national hero. He helped Bangladesh win important matches. He is so important to the national side that the cricket board recently sent him to Australia to treat his knee,” Hiru added. But the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court denied the bail request, remanding him to jail pending further hearings. The cricketer surrendered to the court one day after his wife, Nritto Shahadat, was arrested on Sunday at her parents’ home in Dhaka. Shahadat, who denied wrongdoing, was also taken into custody after a court denied her bail request.

Both face charges of assaulting a child and employing a minor. Police raided the couple’s house last month after the maid, Mahfuza Akter Happy, was found crying in a street in the capital. She has told police and local media that the couple beat and tortured her, while television footage showed her looking frail and thin with swollen black eyes. Police have said one of her hands had been burnt with a hot cooking paddle, while other injury marks were also found on her body.