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Tamim Iqbal steps down as Bangladesh's ODI captain; uncertain for Asia Cup 2023

Bangladesh's veteran batsman, Tamim Iqbal, has announced his immediate resignation as the ODI captain, citing a desire to lighten his workload ahead of the upcoming World Cup.

Cricket Tamim Iqbal steps down as Bangladesh's ODI captain; uncertain for Asia Cup 2023 osf
First Published Aug 4, 2023, 11:57 AM IST

Bangladesh's most experienced batsman, Tamim Iqbal, has made an abrupt decision to step down as the captain of the ODI team with immediate effect. This comes shortly after his initial announcement of retiring from the 50-over format, which was quickly reversed due to unexpected developments. With the upcoming World Cup in mind, Tamim opted to lighten his workload by relinquishing the captaincy.

"As you know I had an important meeting with Jalal bhai [Jalal Yunus] and Papon bhai [Nazmul Hassan]. We have discussed what will happen going forward. Today I step down as Bangladesh cricket team ODI captain," Tamim said in a press conference alongside the BCB president.

"I have taken injections but those treatments are almost hit and miss at this point. I have spoken of my problems with them. I have always thought about the team first," he added.

"Stepping down would be the best possible thing. I talked to the PM today and I gave her the message as well and she made me understand everything really nicely. Main thing is, for the betterment of the team, I should step down as captain and try to give my best as a player whenever the opportunity comes.

Tamim acknowledged that it wouldn't be wise to push himself and participate in the upcoming Asia Cup, but he remains hopeful about being available for the subsequent New Zealand series.

"If we had forced the issue, I could have played the Asia Cup but no one from the medical team or us sitting here wanted that. I'm very hopeful of the New Zealand series," he said.

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Tamim took over as Bangladesh ODI captain from Mashrafe Mortaza in March 2020, and took his team to 21 wins in 37 50-over games - finishing with a win percentage of 56.75, only marginally second to Mortaza's record (56.81) among Bangladesh captains.

"The journey was fantastic and the result would speak for itself. I think I have done a very good job as captain. It could have been very selfish if I said that I want to stay on as captain," he said.

"See I may not have the captaincy tag on me but whenever I am playing, I will act as a captain. What I mean is whoever is the captain I will do everything and do my best to help the captain," he added.

Taking charge as Bangladesh's ODI captain in March 2020, Tamim led the team to 21 victories in 37 matches, achieving an impressive win percentage of 56.75, which is slightly behind Mashrafe Mortaza's record (56.81), the highest among Bangladesh captains.

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In a surprising move on July 6, Tamim had suddenly announced his retirement from international cricket during an emotional press conference in Chattogram. However, the intervention of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led to a reversal of his decision. Due to uncertainty regarding his fitness for the Asia Cup, BCB cricket operation chairman Jalal Yunus stated that Tamim would not be available for the upcoming tournament.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is expected to announce the new ODI captain in the coming days. While Shakib Al Hasan is reportedly reluctant to take on the responsibility, the board will try to convince him. If that doesn't materialize, Litton Das is likely to be named as the skipper.

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