BCB ‘expected’ Tamim’s retirement, unsure of Mahmudullah’s tenure
Although the Tamim Iqbal-led Bangladesh side managed to whitewash the West Indies in the three-match ODI series with a four-wicket win in the final ODI in Guyana, his announcement to retire from T20I format for the Tigers grabbed all the spotlight in the cricket fraternity.
"Please consider me retired from T20Is from today. Thank you, everyone," Tamim wrote on his official Facebook page on Saturday.
However, Tamim's decision was nothing unexpected, considering the fact that the cricketer had previously requested a six-month break from the T20 format in January this year. Since then, the topic of Tamim's availability for the format, especially with the next T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in October-November this year in Australia, has been brought up multiple times, often in a negative way.
"That I know [Tamim Iqbal's retirement from T20I format], this is nothing new. You heard it after he announced it yesterday? Who doesn't know the news? We knew it quite a while ago," Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told the media during a press conference in Mirpur yesterday.
But still the question remains whether Tamim's resignation is official or not. In the recent past, it was Mahmudullah Riyad who retired from the Test format in dramatic fashion – receiving a guard of honour from teammates -- in the tour of Zimbabwe last year. However, it took a long time for the board to officially make a statement regarding Riyad's retirement.
Meanwhile, there were also talks over the probable change in the T20I captaincy and rumour surfaced that Mahmudullah might be replaced by Shakib Al Hasan before the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Mahmudullah's performance, both as a batter and also as the captain of the Bangladesh T20I side, has been under the radar for some time but there was confusion whether Mahmudullah could go on to face similar fate as Mominul Haque in the Test format.
Under Mahmudullah, Bangladesh had a terrible outing in the latest ICC T20 World Cup last year, where the Tigers lost to Scotland in the qualifying stage and went on to lose all the games in the group stage matches.
The 36-year-old looked below par with the bat, scoring eight, 11 and 22 in the three-match T20I series as Bangladesh were whitewashed by the West Indies convincingly under new captain Nicholas Pooran.
"We don't have much time and it's difficult to make the decision [changing T20 captain]. We never had any dissatisfaction over Mominul's captaincy and Mahmudullah's name is coming often because he is unable to score runs. Let him return but I don't think there won't be too much of a difference," Hasan said.
Going back to Tamim's retirement from the shortest format, once again it highlights Bangladesh's need to find a settled opening pair — the search which has lingered in Bangladesh cricket for a long time now.
It will be interesting to see whether the team management could solve the issue with the T20 World Cup knocking at the door or will the Tigers go with the motions and continue their dismal run in the T20 format.