Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has asked for a leave that will see him miss the lone Test against Afghanistan and a tri-series at home involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in September this year, informed Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Cricket Operations chairman Akram Khan yesterday.
“We have received a letter from Tamim on the subject. However, we [the BCB] are yet to make a decision. We will take a decision following the Eid vacation,” Akram told reporters yesterday.
Tamim has been enduring a lean patch since the World Cup, during which he scored 235 runs across eight games with only one half-century.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for the 30-year-old during the tour of Sri Lanka last month, for which he was named interim ODI captain in the absence of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.
Bangladesh were whitewashed in the three-match ODI series and Tamim’s poor form continued as he managed just 21 runs in the series as the pressure continued to mount. There was also discussion about whether the dashing left-hander should take a break from cricket for some time.
If granted, this will be the first time Tamim will miss a series for Bangladesh for a reason other than injury. Tamim is expected to make a return for Bangladesh’s tour of India in November, when the Tigers are scheduled to play two Tests and a three-match T20I series.
Recently, Shakib Al Hasan had been granted a break for the series against Sri Lanka. Shakib had also taken a break during a Test series against hosts South Africa in 2017.
The Bangladesh Test and T20I skipper also took to media to advise Tamim to take a break. The ace all-rounder emphasised the importance of a proper break and the need for stress management.
“Look, a player can go through such a patch. I think it is most important for him [Tamim] to have a good rest, recover and become fresh and come back strongly. I am sure he will do that,” Shakib had said at an event in Dhaka earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the training camp for the upcoming home series against Afghanistan is set to begin from August 18 and the selectors have already provided the board with a 35-member squad.
“The training camp for the upcoming Test against Afghanistan and the following tri-nation T20I series is expected to begin from August 18 or the two days after. We have already submitted the 35-member preliminary squad for the series. We have heard Tamim asked for a leave for the series and if it is granted we will chalk out our team without him,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin told The Daily Star yesterday.