Star batsman Tamim Iqbal complies with autograph hunters during a break in training at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Photo: STar
Official comments on the proposed draft in the ICC, that seeks to give greater control of the global game to India, Australia and England and affect Bangladesh's future in Test cricket, have hardly come by ever since the draft's contents entered the public domain.
However, the fact that Bangladesh are in danger of losing their opportunity of playing the top eight Test teams is a concern that has been reverberating among many players.
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was one of the first players to speak his mind on the issue yesterday. While the left-hander gained most of his knowledge on the issue through the media and is yet to have a proper reading of the draft, he emphasised the importance of playing competitive teams.
“I have played Test cricket in quite a few countries and I don't think any other country is as cricket-crazy as Bangladesh, whether it's India, Pakistan or whichever (nation). ICC wants to promote cricket -- if this (Test cricket) goes away from here, how will that work?” said Tamim, following his training session yesterday.
“I will want to request that this thing does not happen. If not, then we can play a lot more cricket and improve. I don't know much about the details of the draft, so I cannot comment much on it, however, I am sure that the BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board) will take the right step in this regard,” he added.
The draft will be discussed in the today's BCB's board meeting, in which the board is expected to take a stance. The meeting will also decide the next vice-captain of the national team and Tamim is reportedly one of the candidates for that spot.
The left-hander however, was least interested to speak on the matter and instead directed his focus towards the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
“I honestly think we are better prepared than before. The two four-day games that we got to play have helped everyone stay in touch. Our home ground will definitely be an advantage. If we play up to our ability, then I am sure we can cause a surprise,” said Tamim.
“Playing well in this series will set the tone for us for the next three months, which will be important for us. We can take the confidence ahead,” he added.
Finding the right opening partner for Tamim has been the main point of contention for the national selectors. The last two years have seen them field seven pairs of openers and the strategy did not yield anything positive. This time the selectors have chosen the experienced Imrul Kayes and the uncapped Shamsur Rahman in the squad to partner the left-hander.
As opposed to the shifting strategy, Tamim believes that both Imrul and Shamsur should be given enough time to settle in the side.
“Imrul is a proven opener. However, whenever a player returns to the side after a long time, I think that he needs a little more time to settle. He might have played 20 matches before, but because of the gap it will be like a debut for him. So, he needs to be given time. The same goes with Shamsur,” said Tamim.
“The opening position is the most difficult in Test cricket. Whenever I talk to them, I just tell them that they need to bat the same way as they did in domestic cricket, whether that's defensive or attacking. I am sure they will do well,” he added.