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Tamim turns down selectors request of playing the final

  • Published at 12:11 am September 24th, 2019
Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal bats in the Mirpur nets Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

It is understood that Tamim, who attended his second nets at Mirpur since his return from the break following a hectic year, was reached out by the selectors only to get an answer that the left-handed batsman is not yet ready for an international game

Tamim Iqbal has turned down the national selectors call to play the final match of the ongoing tri-nation series. Bangladesh and Afghanistan will lock horns at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday for the silverware and selectors requested the premium opener of the land, who has just returned to practice a couple of days after a sabbatical, to play the all important game.

It is understood that Tamim, who attended his second nets at Mirpur since his return from the break following a hectic year, was reached out by the selectors only to get an answer that the left-handed batsman is not yet ready for an international game.

The year 2019 has been taking a huge toll on the national cricketers. Tamim along with other Tigers had escaped a heinous terrorist attack narrowly early in the year. The players however, were confident to do well in England during the World Cup, but the Tigers’ high hopes were punctured in showcase tournament of the game as they ended on an ignominious eighth position in the 10-team gala.

Tamim, the most successful of the country’s history, had a very ordinary tournament as he got 235 runs in eight innings at an average of 29.37 and many thought his failure of living up to his high standard was one of the main reasons of Tigers’ debacle.

The things got worse as his performance dipped even further in the three-match ODI series just after the World Cup in Sri Lanka, where he scored just 21 in the series, and he felt he needed a break to recharge his battery in order to serve his country better.

So, he pleaded for a break and the board obliged, hence the southpaw was released for the one-off Test match against Afghanistan and the ongoing tri-series where Zimbabwe is the other team.

Bangladesh lost the Test match and the result was termed one of the worst in the annals of Tigers’ and though they reached the final in the expense of a feeble Zimbabwe they never looked comfortable against the Afghans.

It was however, expected that the Afghanistan, a newbie in the Test arena, would be an easy prey in home condition for Tigers but the prospect of losing the final after the shambolic Test defeat made the selectors rather anxious and they made a desperate call of summoning someone who is granted a leave and not in the game for a while.

“We had offered Tamim to play in the final [against Afghanistan] but he said he is not ready yet. He has batted only two sessions since his return to the field which he thinks is not enough for him to return to an international match,” said BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin to the media on Monday.

Bangladesh in the T20I series have tried four different openers including middle-order wicket-keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim but have not been able to yield desired result.

Tamim in August this year had requested the Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] for a break to find it approved right away. This had come at the back of BCB's decision to give Shakib Al Hasan a break, following a request from the all-rounder, and miss the series ODI series against Sri Lanka. The BCB had allowed Shakib time off during the 2017 Test series against South Africa.

It is understood that Tamim during the month long break from cricket had spent time in Bangkok with family and worked on his fitness and shred five kilograms of weight. The Bangladesh opener aims to return to action in the side’s next assignment, tour of India in November. The Tigers are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests.

 Tamim is in plan to get some match time, before the tour of India, playing the first couple of matches of the upcoming National Cricket League [first class cricket tournament]. The southpaw will feature for his home division Chittagong in the second tier of the tournament. 

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