Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has made himself unavailable from T20Is for at least another six months.
Tamim last played a T20I in March 2020 against Zimbabwe and later pulled out of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in order to give opportunities to youngsters like Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim and Litton Das
The latest decision follows recent discussion between Tamim and top BCB officials. “My full focus will be on Tests and ODIs. We are preparing for the World Test Championship and qualification for the 2023 World Cup. I will not be thinking about T20Is in the next six months.” he said.
The southpaw, who has been mostly unavailable for Bangladesh's T20I side for the past 12 months, will now effectively be out of the contention for the T20 World Cup later this year. However, he has stated that he might reconsider his decision if the BCB asks him before the World Cup.
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Tamim has been part of the Bangladesh squad for a very long time now and has proved his value from time to time. With his experience of 78 T20Is, his presence in the top order has been crucial for Bangladesh to get good starts.
Tamim has insisted on giving new players more opportunities and committing to them for a longer period of time. "Hopefully, young players will play so good in the next six months that I won't be needed," he added.
The top-order struggle has been a huge cause of concern for Bangladesh lately that could have been solved had Tamim come back but he has made it clear that his priorities lie completely in ODIs and Test Cricket. "They want me to continue T20 cricket until the World Cup (starting October), but I said I am not going to think T20 cricket in the next few months," he said.
Meanwhile, Tamim has continued playing domestic T20Is has been in good form in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, scoring two half-centuries in the first four matches for Dhaka.
Tamim said he wants to continue playing for at least the next 4-5 years and in order to remain fit, he feels he should be selective of the formats he is playing in. "I have still four to five years left," he said. "If I can stay fit, I want to play another four or five years.”
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