Tamim announces he will not be available for T20 WC
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal announced today that he will not be available for selection for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin in October 17 this year.
"I just called and talked over the phone with our board president [Nazmul Hassan] Papon bhai and chief selector [Minhajul Abedin] Nannu bhai. I shared a few things with them which I think I should share with everyone. I told them that I do not think I should be in the [T20] World Cup team. I am basically not available for the World Cup," Tamim said in a Facebook live from his official account today.
The sudden announcement from the Bangladesh ODI skipper comes hours before the Tigers are scheduled to play first of their five T20Is against New Zealand at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Tamim, however, pointed out the reasons behind his decision.
"There are two or three reasons behind my decision. I think game time is one of the biggest reasons. I am not playing this format for a while now. Secondly, injury. But I do not think the injury is a big problem because I hope that I will recover before the World Cup," said Tamim.
"However, the main reason behind this decision is that it would have been fair for the players who have been playing in my absence for the last 15-16 T20Is if I suddenly come back and snatch away their position from them. Probably, I would have been in the squad for the World Cup -- I am not sure but I can assume that. But I don't think that would have been fair," added Tamim.
Tamim last played a T20I in March 2020 against Zimbabwe. Since then, Bangladesh have played 11 T20Is -- three during their tour of New Zealand, three away to Zimbabwe and then the Tigers hosted Australia for five T20Is last month -- all of which Tamim missed either due to injury or for opting out due to personal reasons.
The country's top opener is now currently recovering from a knee injury that saw him skip the sole Test against Zimbabwe in July this year and only allowed him to play the three ODIs against Zimbabwe by 'managing his pain'. The injury is also seeing him miss the five T20Is against New Zealand, starting from today.
Tamim later also clarified that he is not retiring from the format and that he will just not be available for selection for the upcoming T20 World Cup. He also wished the Bangladesh team his very best for the mega event.
The 32-year-old also requested the media and everyone else to respect his privacy and refrain from contacting him over the phone or through WhatsApp regarding his decision of excluding himself from selection for the upcoming T20 World Cup.