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What lies ahead for Tamim Iqbal

What lies ahead for Tamim Iqbal

Sports Desk

Just over a month ago, despite being one of the finest batters that Bangladesh has ever produced, Tamim Iqbal’s cricketing future seemed uncertain.

He found himself out of the national team, voluntarily withdrawing from the national contract, and appeared less assured both on and off the field, making his fans ponder about the future of their beloved batting star. The uncertainty suffered the double blow by prolonged injury concerns.

Fast-forward a mere month and a half: Tamim now exudes more confidence than ever. Emerging as the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a feat considered exceptional for any cricketer in Bangladesh, he led Fortune Barishal to their maiden BPL title. His recent triumphs naturally beg the question—what's next for Tamim?

In BPL 2024, Tamim demonstrated he still has plenty of cricket left in him. However, how his cricket may serve the country or the interests of the national team remains unanswered, as Tamim faced the media after the BPL final in Mirpur.

Uncertainty shrouded Tamim’s future mid last year when he abruptly retired from all forms of cricket after his fitness comments faced heavy criticism from board president Nazmul Hasan.

Though he rescinded his decision following intervention from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Tamim never fully returned to the national team's fold. Stepping down from captaincy just before the last Asia Cup, he then missed the World Cup as the selectors kept him out due to concerns about his playing fitness—a move Tamim publicly criticized.

These events seemingly marked the end of Tamim’s career as a national cricketer. Yet, his standout performances in BPL 2024—both as a batter and captain—prompted Bangladesh’s cricketing fraternity to reassess Tamim’s future.

Asked before the BPL if he's interested in a national team comeback, Tamim deferred clarification until after the tournament. As the BPL concluded, Tamim remains eager to sit down with BCB bosses to determine his future.

“I’m traveling abroad tomorrow morning,” Tamim stated after the BPL final. “I didn't get to speak with him (new chief selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain), but I planned to discuss with Jalal bhai, the cricket operation chairman. Hopefully, we can talk upon my return.”

Tamim stressed the need for the right environment. “I want to clarify that many things need to align if I return. It's not just about playing. I probably have only two years of cricket left, so discussions are essential.”

Yet, Tamim did not elaborate on his expectations from BCB.

Under Tamim’s leadership, Fortune Barishal exuded camaraderie during BPL 2024. Senior cricketers Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim were pivotal to Barishal’s success. While Tamim had tasted BPL glory before, it was Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur's first win.

By dedicating the BPL title to Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur, Tamim showcased his generosity. However, while his fans cheer this gesture, they eagerly await more reasons to celebrate—specifically, Tamim's decision regarding a potential return to the national team.

 

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