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World Cup 2023: What is the feud between Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal

Just days before the World Cup, the feud between two of Bangladesh senior most players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal is being played out in the open. The two southpaws, who were once close friends, have since fallen out and don’t see eye-to-eye was revealed by Bangladesh Cricket Board president earlier this year. And the drama unfolded even when Bangladesh finalised their 15-member squad for the World Cup. Here is a look at what happened?

Tamim dropped

On Tuesday, as Bangladesh announced their final 15 member squad for the World Cup, Tamim’s name was omitted from the list. While the selectors revealed that the opener’s back injury as the reason, later on speaking to sports channel, Shakib revealed that Tamim refused to bat at No 3 in their first World Cup match against Afghanistan. The all-rounder even went on to call Tamim ‘childish’ and said he isn’t a team man. Shakib also expressed his displeasure about Tamim quitting the captaincy just couple of months before the World Cup, saying any such decision should have come early.

“A player should bat at any position for the team. Team first. It doesn’t make any difference if you have made 100 or 200, and the team loses. What can you do with personal achievement? You want to make a name for yourself? You are not thinking about the team at all. People don’t understand these things. Why was the proposal given to him? It was for the team. What is wrong in that? You are a team man when you agree to such a proposal. Unless you are thinking along those lines, you are not a team man. You are playing for individual records, success, fame, and name. Not for the team.”

What does Tamim say?

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Ever since he announced his shock retirement in July before making a U-turn later, Tamim’s place in the squad has been of much speculation in Bangladesh media. The opener, who is Bangladesh leading run-scorer in the format, even took a few weeks break to recover from the recurring back injury. Tamim, though, returned for the recently concluded home series against New Zealand where he scored an half-century. And soon after the World Cup squad was announced, Tamim posted a video message on his Facebook page saying he had no fitness issues. “I told the selectors (after the second ODI against New Zealand) that this is what my body is going to be. I will have a bit of pain. So when you select the team, keep this in mind,” he said.

Tamim also went on add that he shot down the idea from a BCB official to bat at No 3. “He said that if you play, we are planning that you will bat down the order. You have to consider my mindset at that moment. I had just played a good innings. I was happy. Suddenly, now all this talk. It was hard for me to take. I have been playing for 17 years in the same position. I have never batted at No. 3 or 4. I have no experience of batting in the middle order. So naturally I didn’t take this conversation well. I didn’t like what he (the official) said. I felt that I was being forcibly stopped. So he has crossed one barrier (fitness), let’s create another for him. This is what I felt. So I said if you have this mindset, then don’t send me to the World Cup. I don’t want to be in this nastiness,” Tamim said in the video message.

Freedom Sale

All this drama means, Bangladesh which booked an automatic spot for the World Cup and were building a team for the tournament look in total disarray. Only time will tell if Bangladesh puts these dramas aside and clicks together as a unit.

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