Tamim's sole focus on World Cup
Tamim Iqbal stepped down from captaincy yesterday after the much-awaited meeting with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon and cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus, with injury at the heart of the decision.
Tamim conveyed the matter of captaincy himself before Jalal informed the media in the same press conference that Tamim will not be playing the Asia Cup in order to not force the issue and instead get ready for a return for the home series against New Zealand in September, just before the World Cup.
Defying the weather, media personnel flocked to Mirpur while national team players had the Yo-Yo test awaiting them. The focus of the media, however, was not on the activities related to fitness drills as their attention was fully trained on when and where the meeting between Tamim Iqbal and BCB will commence.
As their wait grew till the evening, the press event which was supposed to commence at 8:00 PM, began much later after 9 PM.
"I am very angry about it. I feel that the matter needs to be investigated since there is a difference in the way the matter was presented to us and what happened in reality. If this was diagnosed in 2022 and treatment began back then, by now he would have recovered. This thing was neglected in some way which is why we had to hear all this right at the doorstep of the World Cup." BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon said regarding Tamim's injury diagnosis.
"I had an important meeting with Jalal bhai and Papon bhai. We have discussed what will happen going forward. From today [Thursday] I will step down as Bangladesh cricket team ODI captain. I feel that injury is an issue and I have taken injections but those treatments are almost hit-and-miss at this point. I have spoken of my problems with them. Thinking of the team, stepping down would be the best possible thing," Tamim said at the press conference yesterday while also relaying that he talked to the Bangladesh Prime Minister about his decision ahead of the meeting.
"Whether somebody else is captain, the target is one which is to do well at the World Cup. Country is much bigger than the individual," Tamim added.
Jalal informed that Tamim's pain subsided "somewhat" after being administered injections multiple times in the UK. On 28th July, he was instructed to go for two weeks' rest. On August 11th, the two weeks' rest will end before Tamim can begin rehab in a "small way". Two more weeks would pass once he begins rehab. Then it would take two more weeks for him to return to nets and Tamim will not be able to do high-intensity training before 21st August.
"Two more weeks will pass after that before he can return to nets. As you know, by that time our schedule for Asia Cup will resume and his intensity can't increase before the 21st. The team will leave for Asia Cup on [August] 26th so it will not be possible for Tamim to return before the Asia Cup." Jalal informed.
*Tamim took charge of the Tigers in ODIs after Mashrafe Bin Mortaza stepped down in 2020 following the home series against Zimbabwe. He had to wait for his first assignment as captain and started his captaincy against the West Indies in 2021 at home.
*Tamim led Bangladesh in 37 matches, where the Tigers won on 21 occasions and lost 14 times. Two other matches had no results.
*During his tenure as captain, Tamim led Bangladesh to memorable series victory against South Africa (away).
The BCB president also said that they are confident that Tamim will be able to return before the New Zealand series as a player while also informing that they have not talked to any other player regarding captaincy.
BCB president said that had Tamim not been available for Asia Cup, then the vice-captain would lead the Tigers as per normal procedure. However, Tamim's decision to quit captaincy meant that the board would seek a candidate for the captaincy in the long-run. According to BCB sources, they would prefer Shakib Al Hasan for the long-term role but they need to discuss it among themselves and also the player concerned.
Jalal further said that Tamim will likely not go for surgery as it would be difficult to make a return following a surgery.
BCB are still going to investigate how the situation got so far regarding Tamim's injury diagnosis in the L4 and L5 discs.
Tamim relayed at the press conference that his problem was diagnosed first in November 2022. However, a recent MRI report in Dubai revealed a different injury diagnosis.