Tamim Iqbal's career has been dogged by injuries for a long time. The left-hander had to return home after suffering a thigh injury after the first Test in South Africa last year. After that, he suffered a knee injury despite which he took part in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in March this year. The last injury, to his bicep, forced the southpaw to miss the first T20I against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Now, Bangladesh have once again been dealt a huge blow as the opener fractured his wrist during the first game of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka and was ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
The national team has had a long-standing problem in their search for someone to open the innings alongside Tamim and it has proven to be one of the biggest concerns for the team management. Over the years, the 29-year-old has lifted his game to such a level that it is almost impossible to think of an opening pair for the Tigers without Tamim.
The highest run-getter for the Tigers across all the three formats has remained firm at one end while there have been several changes at the other due to inconsistency from anyone who was given an opportunity.
The Tigers' team management now face a huge challenge in the rest of the games of the Asia Cup without their most consistent and assured batsman.
The cricketer returned to Bangladesh yesterday and was questioned about his concerns regarding the opening slots. However, the left-hander was hopeful that whoever replaced him would look to give their best.
"I think cricket is such a game where no one stops for anyone. As I am not able to play, someone else will come in and try to the best of their abilities. I personally want to wish the best to whomever opens the innings and I am sure they will try to think about Bangladesh and the team and perform accordingly," Tamim told the media at the Hazrat Shahjalal International airport yesterday.
Liton Das, who opened alongside Tamim in the first game, is expected to be joined by another young left-hander, Nazmul Hossain. Tamim however looked at the positives and said that it would be a great opportunity for the youngsters to take responsibility.
"The positive side is that the juniors now have the opportunity to take responsibility. Normally I used to open the innings along with another player but now the juniors will open the innings, which is also a matter of responsibility and I am sure they will be able to learn from it. The remaining four-five matches are also opportunities for them to cement their place in the team," he said, adding that the absence of an individual should not affect the performance of the team.
Tamim also hoped that Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who also have injury concerns, would continue to perform.
The cricketer will have an x-ray after a week which will be followed by another x-ray in the second week and if his recovery goes well then there would be no need for surgery. However, Tamim added that it would be important to recover properly.