The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have found themselves embroiled in controversy following their announcement of the men’s cricket team for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023. Notably, the squad did not include Tamim Iqbal, one of Bangladesh’s top run-scorers and a seasoned campaigner.
Speculations among fans have suggested that a rift between Tamim and team captain Shakib Al Hasan could be the reason behind Tamim’s exclusion. The situation escalated when the star opener publicly accused the BCB of his non-selection, asserting that he was asked to bat down the order—a decision he vehemently disagreed with.
In response to Tamim’s claims, Shakib openly criticized Tamim, labeling him as ‘selfish’ for prioritizing his personal preferences over the team’s interests. This exchange of accusations further fueled the controversy surrounding Bangladesh’s ODI World Cup squad.
Mashrafe Mortaza shares his take
Amidst the turmoil, former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has stepped forward to share his perspective on the matter. Mortaza did not mince words when he criticized the BCB for their handling of the Tamim situation, which has now snowballed into a significant controversy.
Mortaza pointed out that captain Shakib had the opportunity to address the issue with Tamim directly, which could have potentially resolved the matter amicably. He emphasized that such instructions regarding batting positions should have originated from the team’s management rather than BCB officials.
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“As the captain, Shakib could have messaged Tamim or spoken for a minute, saying, ‘I have this plan, I’ll discuss it with you later.’ I think that would have resolved the entire issue here. According to my cricket knowledge, this instruction of batting in the middle order or skipping the first game should have come from the coach, captain, or a selector who will go with the team. Not from any BCB official,” Mortaza expressed on his Facebook page.
Mortaza questions necessity of further discussions
Mortaza firmly believed that discussions about Tamim’s batting position should have taken place after the announcement of the World Cup squad. He noted that after Tamim announced his retirement, the matter escalated to involve the Prime Minister, who urged Tamim to participate in the World Cup. Given these circumstances, Mortaza questioned the necessity of further discussions, particularly from BCB officials, before naming the squad.
“After Tamim announced retirement, the issue went even to the prime minister. She said Tamim to play the World Cup and that’s why Tamim agreed to it. I don’t think any further discussion was needed for this especially from any BCB official. All these conversation with Tamim should have come after announcing the squad,” Mortaza added.
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