Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said teammate and ex-captain Tamim Iqbal’s “totally childish” behaviour prompted his exclusion from the ICC World Cup 2023 squad.
Tamim, 34, was left off the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 starting in India next week, because of concerns over the back injury that has plagued him throughout the year.
He had just returned to the side for a home series against New Zealand after a two-month absence following his shock resignation in July, rescinded a day later after the personal intervention of Bangladesh’s prime minister.
Tamim said after the ICC World Cup 2023 squad was announced that he was fit enough to play but had refused a request by selectors to skip the opening match and bat down the order later.
“It is totally childish,” Shakib Al Hasan told local broadcaster T-Sports on Wednesday evening, hours after Tamim’s comments.
“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 added: “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.”
Over his career, Tamim Iqbal established himself as one of the country’s most dependable players and is the only Bangladeshi to score centuries across all three formats.
But he stunned his colleagues in July by announcing his immediate international retirement, at a tearful press conference in the middle of the home series he was captaining against Afghanistan.
Tamim had come under heavy criticism for deciding to play the first match despite admitting to being not 100 percent fit.
A day later he was summoned to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who pressed him to reverse his decision, and instead took a hiatus that saw him skip the Asia Cup.
He returned to the side last week for the opening two matches of the ODI series against New Zealand but was rested for the third.
Bengali newspapers reported that Shakib Al Hasan and coach Chandika Hathurusingha insisted that only fully fit players be named to the World Cup 2023 squad.
However, Shakib Al Hasan denied a role in Tamim’s exclusion but insisted he would not prefer a player in the team with any kind of uncertainty.
“If I know there’s uncertainty about him playing… or that I will only know on the morning of the game, it will be difficult for me to select the team. I don’t think we need such a player.”
“If you ask me personally, if I was the company CEO, I wouldn’t keep that employee.”
Bangladesh travelled to India on Wednesday for its two warm-up matches against Sri Lanka on Friday and against England next Monday.
The side will then move to Dharamshala for their tournament opener against Afghanistan on October 7.
Bangladesh Squad for ICC World Cup 2023: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Litton Das (vc), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Tanzid Hasan, Tanzim Hasan, Mahmudullah