The Bangladesh cricket team is going through a troublesome phase, right before the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. In the final 15-man squad that the Bangla Tigers announced, there was no space for star opening batter Tamim Iqbal while Shakib Al Hasan was named the captain of the side. Tamim’s exit from the team left many surprised, but according to skipper Shakib, the management had few options but to axe Tamim, who is ‘childish’ and a player who plays for ‘individual success over team’s’.
In a chat with Bangladesh media outlet, T Sports, Shakib took a swipe at Tamim, claiming the opening batter didn’t want to play in the middle order, even if it benefitted the team. Shakib cited the example of India’s Rohit Sharma as he explained why a player would always keep the team in front.
“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?,” he said.
“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 with 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,” he added.
It was also reported that Tamim wasn’t fully fit to play the entire World Cup. Though the batter claimed that he was fit for the World Cup but it was the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s decision to not include him in the roster despite that. Shakib, however, said that he didn’t want to include a player in the team that had fitness question marks all over him.
“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).”
Shakib was also disappointed by Tamim’s decision to quit as Bangladesh skipper just 2 months before the start of the ODI World Cup.
“I have often heard in the dressing room that he is leaving the captaincy. Even a player once told him that ‘bhai, leave it early so that the new captain gets a bit of time’. Exactly that’s what happened. The one who came in didn’t get the time. Each and everyone knew including the selectors and board officials. Papon bhai (BCB president Nazmul Hassan) certainly knew about it,” said Shakib.
“I don’t know why he didn’t leave it (earlier). He can tell you. It is like, your commander takes you to war but (Shakib mimicking a soldier) after he has got you ready, the commander isn’t telling you to fire or retreat. Where will you go? We were in this situation in the last two matches against Afghanistan (in July).
“The captain wouldn’t have changed ahead of the Asia Cup and the World Cup, unless he himself announced that he was resigning or retiring. It would have happened 18 months ago, when everyone knew what was about to happen,” he explained.
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