'Easy to give up but only fighters emerge as greats'
Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal returned to the country from the UK on Monday, having undergone treatment for his back pain. The cricketer will begin his rehabilitation process following a week's rest.
There still lies a lot of ifs or buts regarding Tamim's return to the side, with regaining fitness being the main challenge for the cricketer. Another important thing for Tamim, the skipper, will be to gain clarity regarding the way he wants to prepare himself and the team for the upcoming Asia Cup and the World Cup.
"First of all, any player, does not matter if it is Tamim or anyone else, it's important that he is fully fit," Khaled Mahmud Sujon, former captain and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director, concurred with the notion that fitness would be the key for Tamim now.
"Undoubtedly, Tamim is still one of the best openers for Bangladesh, and we all know his importance in the team. But when you are talking about the World Cup, you cannot afford to have a player who is not fully fit as it's a game of 600 balls and you need to be on your toes all the time. However, I am hopeful that Tamim will be able to recover from his injury and return to his best which will benefit Bangladesh in big events," Sujon added when he spoke to The Daily Star yesterday.
While Sujon focused on Tamim's fitness, the left-handed opener's mentor and prominent coach Mohammad Salahuddin emphasised more on the mental strength that the cricketer needs to show going forward.
"Look, it's always easy to give up but those who fight in tough situations are the ones who eventually emerge as greats. Most players around the world struggle both on and off the field, but [a rough patch] doesn't mean you just give up. It is important for Tamim to think about his game, how he will score runs and gain the confidence back," said Salahuddin.
It is not just about Tamim's return as a player as a lot will also depend on his leadership qualities. His involvement in the team selection for the mega events will also play a very crucial role in the coming days.
"It will be crucial for the selectors, captain, and coach to have a collective plan when it comes to forming the squad. It will be important that they manage to keep the outside noise or influence away from the selection process and base it on facts and strategies," Salahuddin added.
There are quite a few areas on the national side the solutions to which the selectors are yet to figure out. Talks of possible inclusions of Mahmudullah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar are doing the rounds, considering the unsettled number seven position in the batting line-up.
According to both Salahuddin and Sujon, for team management, it would be important to cast aside any outside noise or personal bias and depend solely on the demand of the team, and its strategy in order to pick the best option from the available pool of players for the upcoming major events.
"It is very obvious that there will be arguments and dissatisfaction whenever few people sit together to form the squad. It is like a family where we fight, and argue but in the end, we keep it among us. What I don't like is when such things get leaked in public. That is not good for Bangladesh cricket," Sujon said.