Tamim Iqbal withdraws from upcoming T20 World Cup

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Sports desk, Sept 01: Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal withdrew himself from the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Oman and Dubai, stating that the players who are playing more regularly than him in this format in the recent time deserve to keep their spot.

Tamim opted out of the last four T20 series for Bangladesh in this year—He pulled out of the T20 series against New Zealand in March this year and then did not play against Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand at home due to his recurring knee injury.

In his place, Bangladesh played Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh and Liton Das as openers. Moreover  young player Sheikh Mahedi Hasan who is playing in this format regularly also showed their potential to play up the batting order.

Tamim said it would be unfair to take the place of those players who are tried in his stead.

”As I did not play in the last 15 to 20 T20 matches for Bangladesh, and whoever replaced me in those series, I don’t think it would be fair on them if I take their place,” Tamim said through a video message on Facebook.

He also added that he made the decision to inform the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon and chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu before making it public.

“I just called board president Papon bhai and chief selector Nannu bhai a few minutes back to let them know my decision. I told them that I don’t think I should be playing in the World Cup and I am not available for it. I have taken that decision and I will stick to it,” he added.

At the same time Tamim made it clear that he isn’t retiring from the format. Tamim suffered a knee injury during the Test series against Sri Lanka in April. He then missed the one-off Test against Zimbabwe but played three-match ODI series as he is the captain in this format. But he later skipped the T20 series against Zimbabwe to heal his knee problem completely.

“I am not retiring. It is just that I am not available for this World Cup,” Tamim said.

Some days ago, chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu said when Tamim would make him available, he would be slotted into the squad straightway. But after that critics argued how a player could be included in the T20 World Cup without playing any matches for a long time.

But Tamim said the decision was only influenced by the sake of the team’s betterment not for what the critics said.

”I think game-plan is one of the biggest reasons, because I have not played this format for a long time and second… (knee) injury, but I don’t think that is a big problem because I feel I will be okay before the World Cup,” he said.