Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has thrown his support behind Tamim Iqbal’s shocking decision to pull out of the T20 World Cup despite claiming that he would be fit in time for the mega event in the UAE.
Tamim Iqbal announced that he won’t participate in the T20 World Cup this year as he hasn’t featured in T20 cricket for a while and also he thought it would be unfair to take place of openers who have been in the side in his absence.
Since 2019, he has featured in only 3 out of 23 T20Is Bangladesh has played, and not a single once this year. He is also recovering from a knee injury.
Mashrafe Mortaza wrote a long message on his personal Facebook account urging people to respect the left-hander’s choice. He feels Tamim made the right decision to not force himself in the T20 format if he hasn’t played it for a long while, and that it could have also affected his good form in the other two formats.
“Everyone should respect Tamim’s decision. There’s no doubt that Tamim is one of the best batsmen in Bangladesh. His statistics says so. He had every qualification to play in the T20 World Cup, and it is well know that the cricket board and team management would keep him in the squad,” Mortaza wrote.“Tamim will continue to be one of the best batsmen but nobody wants to see him lose form by playing T20s forcibly. Tamim has a lot more matches to win for Bangladesh. There were reasons behind his decision. His injury being one of them. He hasn’t played the last 16 (sic 12) matches. He would create a lot of pressure on himself when playing after such a long break. It could affect his form in Tests and ODIs.”
Tamim Iqbal was our first choice: BCB president
Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, has revealed that not only Tamim Iqbal was in their World Cup plans, but he was also their first-choice opener. However, the batsman himself called Hasan saying that he doesn’t want to do any injustice to other openers – Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, and Liton Das are in the fray.
“He was our first choice. He was in the T20 World Cup squad. But after he informed us, he is no longer in the team. He will play more World Cups in the future. It was a brave decision, not as easy one.“Everyone wants to play the World Cup, but he thought about it and then spoke to us. He thought there would be injustice if he gets to play ahead of those playing now,” Hasan said.