Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has lashed out at his teammates Tamim Iqbal after the opener hit out at the Bangladesh Cricket Board a day after being dropped from the World Cup squad. Tamim, who was left out of the squad due to ‘long-standing injury concerns’ as per the BCB, in an emotional outburst on his Facebook page, said that the board deliberately tried to create a difficult atmosphere around him. But the part which Shakib was most miffed about was Tamim’s conversion with a board official, who suggested that he bat at No. 4, a proposal which the 34-year-old did not entertain.

Shakib Al Hasan has lashed out at Tamim Iqbal for his outburst o BCB. (Getty Images)
Shakib Al Hasan has lashed out at Tamim Iqbal for his outburst o BCB. (Getty Images)

“I am sure someone who is authorized had said this (to Tamim). I am sure whoever has said it, he thought of the team. A lot of things go into building a combination for a match. So if someone has said this to him, was it wrong? Or we can’t make such a proposal? I am just going to tell someone that you can do whatever you want. Is the team first or the individual?,” Tamim told the Dhaka-based TV channel T-Sports.

Tamim, Bangladesh’s most successful batter of all time, has made a career out of opening the innings. In fact, all 240 of his ODI innings have come at the top of the order and since his debut back in 2007, not once has Tamim batted lower. But it’s possible that given his strained relations with the BCB, which began in July when Tamim revealed he was playing against Afghanistan with an injured back and the board then not taking kindly to his comments, the opener blatantly refused a batting demotion. In response, Shakib launched a scathing attack on Tamim, criticising him for being ‘childish’ and ‘not a team man’.

“Look at someone like Rohit Sharma. He built his career from No. 7 to opener, scored 10,000-plus runs. If he sometimes bats at No 3 or 4, would it be a big problem? It is totally childish. It is my bat, I will play. No one else can play. A player should bat at any position for the team. Team first. It doesn’t make any difference if you have made 100 or 200, and the team loses. What can you do with personal achievement? You want to make a name for yourself?”

“You are not thinking about the team at all. People don’t understand these things. Why was the proposal given to him? It was for the team. What is wrong in that? You are a team man when you agree to such a proposal. Unless you are thinking along those lines, you are not a team man. You are playing for individual records, success, fame, and name. Not for the team.”

Tamim’s back injury led to him missing the Asia Cup, and even though he returned for the first two ODIs against New Zealand, he went missing from the third. Tamim later clarified that although he was cleared to play, but chose not to in order to focus on the World Cup warm-ups games. However, a day after the final ODI, Tamim’s name did not feature in the squad of 15. Additionally, it is worth noting that Tamim had recently made a retirement announcement, which he later retracted, underscoring the ongoing problems between him and the board. Nevertheless, it was primarily the injury, more than anything else, that resulted in Tamim’s exclusion from the squad. Shakib insisted that fitness is an area he or Bangladesh are not willing to compromise on giving the examples of MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson in very different contexts.

“I didn’t discuss the subject with the particular player, medical team or selector. It is definitely the board’s decision. People might doubt my capability or capacity but someone like MS Dhoni, who has won everything and has the knowledge and sense, once said that the unfit player who is playing is cheating his team and country. I think we should accept it, and not just Tamim but every player (that you have to be fully fit when playing for the team or country).”

“Kane Williamson won’t play the first two matches, but then he will start playing. If I knew something like this, I wouldn’t have any problems. But if I know that there’s uncertainty about him playing the seventh or the third or the first game, or that I will only know in the morning of the game, it will be difficult for me to select the team. I don’t think we need such a player.”

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