T20 World Cup: Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal withdraws due to lack of game time

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal opted out of this year’s Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday citing lack of game time as he continues to recover from a knee injury. He also said that he did not want to take the place of openers who have been playing in the format more regularly than him in recent times.

“As I did not play in the last 15 to 20 T20 matches, and whoever replaced me, I don’t think it would be fair on them if I take their place,” the southpaw said through a video message on Facebook.

“I just called board president Papon bhai (Nazmul Hasan) and chief selector Nanno bhai (Minhajul Abedin) few minutes back and said that I don’t think I should be playing in the World Cup and I am not available for it. I have taken that decision and I will stick to it. I am not retiring. It is just that I am not available for this World Cup,” he added.

Tamim hurt his knee during the April-May tour of Sri Lanka but chief selector Minhajul Abedin was optimistic Bangladesh’s one-day captain would regain his fitness ahead of the World Cup in October-November.

“Game time is the biggest reason. I haven’t been playing this format for a long time,” Tamim, who played the last of his 78 Twenty20 Internationals in March 2020, said in the video. “I don’t think my injury is a concern, because I think I’d be fit before the World Cup.”

Tamim’s selection in the World Cup squad was seen as a matter of him regaining his fitness and the 32-year-old said he was not quitting the 20-overs format.

Bangladesh will play Scotland in their first opening round match on Oct. 17 in Muscat.

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