Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has decided to miss the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman, in order to give a fair chance to the openers who have been performing well.
Iqbal informed about his decision to Bangladesh Cricket Board's President Nazmul Hassan, and chief selector Minhajul Abedin before making an announcement on his Facebook page.
Iqbal said: "A little while ago I called our board president and chief selector. I want to share the same with you. I told them that I don't think I should be in the World Cup team. There are a few reasons why I am not available for the tournament. Game time is the biggest reason. I haven't been playing this format for a long time."
Iqbal also claimed that his long-standing knee injury was not the reason behind his decision, as he would have gained full fitness before the start of the tournament. "I don't think my knee injury is a concern because I was going to recover before the World Cup.
"The main reason that clicked with me when taking this decision was, I don't think it would be fair on those players who have played in the last 15-16 T20Is that I haven't played. I was probably going to be in the World Cup team, but I believe it wouldn't have been fair on those players."
Iqbal also clarified that he wasn't retiring from the shortest form of the game, adding: "I want to make it clear that I am not retiring but I won't be playing this World Cup. I think it is a fair decision. Those youngsters who are playing in the national team, they should get the opportunities. Their preparation will be better than mine. They will probably be able to serve the team better."
Iqbal has played 74 T20Is for Bangladesh, scoring 1758 runs with one century and seven half-centuries. He last played a T20I against Zimbabwe in March 2020 in Dhaka.