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Tamim Iqbal quits ODI captaincy, ruled out of Asia Cup

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Tamim Iqbal on Friday, announced to step down as Bangladesh’s ODI captain after he was ruled out of the upcoming Asia Cup due to his recurring back injury, unlikely to heal in time.

Iqbal announced shocking retirement from international cricket last month citing his battle with injuries. However, he withdrew his retirement two days later after a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who requested him to reverse his decision.

Tamim Iqbal also revealed that he had already informed PM Hasina about his decision to step down as skipper, and also discussed it with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan and cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus.

“I believe injury is an issue,” Tamim said. “I have told them [the board] about the problem. I have always helped the team over everything else. So keeping that in mind, stepping down is the best possible decision. I want to give my best as a player whenever the opportunity comes. I have spoken to the prime minister, and she understood.”

He believes that him stepping down as captain is in the best interests of the team going forward. He said, “I think the [captaincy] journey has been fantastic. The results speak for themselves. I told Papon bhai [Nazmul Hassan] that it would have been very selfish of me if I had stayed on as captain. Whoever knows me, knows that I put the team ahead of myself.”

BCB president expressed his shock at Tamim’s decision, “It is certainly a shock for us. We were not prepared for this decision. We have to now name an ODI captain at least till the World Cup; it won’t be for one or two series.”

BCB is expected to announce the captain of the ODI team to lead the team till the World Cup. As things stand, opening batter Litton Das is the favourite to lead the team on permanent basis after being the interim captain during the Afghanistan series. Bangladesh has won three out of five games under Litton Das.

Jalal Yunus is expecting that Tamim Iqbal will be fit in time for the home series against New Zealand. “He has been advised to rest for two weeks, till August 11, after which he will resume his rehab. But he can only return to the nets in another two weeks. By that time, we are leaving for Asia Cup, on August 26.” He added, “If he undergoes surgery, returning [soon] will be very difficult. He is unlikely to do that, so we are expecting him to return for the New Zealand series.”

The star batter is also hoping to return to the team for the New Zealand series and be a part of the World Cup, which is most probably going to be his last. “I want to play the New Zealand series in the best possible shape. We could have rushed it for the Asia Cup but we are opting against it. I am very hopeful that I will be available for the World Cup” he said.

Tamim Iqbal has been a mainstay of the national ODI team since making his debut in 2007. He has scored 8313 runs in ODI cricket with the help of 14 hundreds, most by any Bangladesh batter.

READ: Alex Hales bids adieu to international cricket

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