Bangladesh’s ODI captain, Shakib Al Hasan, shared his thoughts on Tamim Iqbal’s exclusion from the World Cup squad in an exclusive interview with T Sports, which aired on Wednesday night. Shakib indirectly conveyed that Tamim’s omission was a result of various processes and decisions in which he had no involvement.
To illustrate his point, Shakib cited the case of Mahmudullah Riyad, stating, “Mahmudullah Riyad bhai wasn’t initially included, but he was later added to the World Cup team. At first, I had reservations about it, but everyone noticed his dedication, sense of responsibility towards the team, and his strong desire to play for the team. There lies the difference.”
Tamim, in a Facebook video posted the previous day after the Bangladesh team’s departure for India, claimed that a high-ranking official had approached him to skip the first World Cup game and bat lower down the order. Shakib, however, denied any involvement in such a proposal and likened Tamim’s reaction to playground behavior. He remarked, “I haven’t been part of any such discussions, so I’m not sure where this question is coming from. If someone did make such a proposal, is there something wrong with that? Must we always cater to specific individuals? This is akin to childish behavior, where someone insists, ‘It’s my bat, and only I will play.’ For the sake of the team, everyone should be prepared to play in any position; it’s about prioritizing the team’s needs.”
Shakib further explained why including Tamim in the squad posed challenges for him, stating, “When I don’t know whether someone will play in the third game or the seventh game, and I only find out on the morning of the match, it becomes difficult for me to select the team.”
During the half-hour interview, the star all-rounder also discussed his future plans. He hinted at the possibility of retiring from international cricket, mentioning that the T20 World Cup scheduled for next year might be his last appearance in that format, while the 2025 Champions Trophy could mark his farewell to ODIs. He even contemplated giving up Test cricket sooner, although those decisions have not been finalized. Additionally, Shakib disclosed that he had considered resigning from the captaincy after the Asia Cup, which took place on September 17, but he refrained from doing so upon the request of BCB high-ups.