Last Updated: September 28, 2023, 14:32 IST
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan blasted Tamim Iqbal for allegedly not accepting the suggestion to bat lower down the order and prioritising individual interests over the team. Tamim hasn’t made the cut in Bangladesh’s 15-man squad for the ICC ODI World Cup in India.
Tamim has been battling a back injury for months now something which has seen him consistently drift in and out of the Bangladesh squad.
Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup Full Squads
Reports claim that the experienced batter has been dropped considering his dodgy fitness but Tamim, in a video on Facebook on Wednesday, claimed there was enough time for him to get to full fitness ahead of World Cup.
As per reports, a top Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) official asked Tamim to bat lower down the order.
“I am sure someone who is authorized had said this (to Tamim),” ESPNCricinfo quoted Shakib as saying. “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?”
Shakib then cited the example of India captain Rohit Sharma who batted lower in the batting order before establishing himself as an opener.
“Someone like Rohit Sharma 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?” Shakib said.
He then claimed Tamim’s reaction reek of selfishness.
“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,” Shakib said.
Shakib then recalled how MS Dhoni once said an unfit player is ‘cheating his team’ by being part of the setup.
“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).”
Shakib said the uncertainty over Tamim’s availability made his selection quite difficult.
“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,” Shakib said.
“I certainly heard that he will play selectively. A journalist can’t really tell you that he will come to the office an hour before he wants to come to office. If you ask me personally, if I was the company CEO, I won’t keep that employee. Although I never had any discussion about this matter,” he added.