World Cup 2023: Unraveling the Conflict Between Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal


World Cup 2023: Unraveling the Conflict Between Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal

In the run-up to the World Cup, a publicized feud between two of Bangladesh’s senior cricket players, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, has captured the spotlight. Once close friends, these two left-handed players have now become estranged, and their rift was brought to light earlier this year by the President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board. The drama continued even as Bangladesh finalized its 15-member squad for the upcoming World Cup. Let’s delve into the details of what transpired.

Tamim’s Omission On a significant note, when Bangladesh unveiled its final 15-member squad for the World Cup, Tamim Iqbal’s name was conspicuously absent. While selectors attributed this omission to Tamim’s back injury, Shakib later disclosed in an interview with a sports channel that Tamim had declined to bat at the No. 3 position in their first World Cup match against Afghanistan. In the course of this interview, Shakib characterized Tamim as “childish” and criticized him for not being a team player. Shakib also expressed his dissatisfaction with Tamim’s decision to step down from the captaincy just a couple of months before the World Cup, suggesting that such a choice should have been made earlier.

Shakib’s Words: “A player should be willing to bat at any position for the team. The team should come first. Personal achievements, whether it’s scoring 100 or 200 runs, become inconsequential if the team loses. What good is personal glory if you aren’t considering the team’s success? People often fail to grasp these principles. Why was the proposition made to him in the first place? It was for the sake of the team. What’s wrong with that? Being a team player means accepting such proposals. If you don’t think along these lines, you’re not a true team player. You’re playing for individual records, personal success, fame, and recognition, not for the team.”

Tamim’s Response Since his surprising retirement announcement in July, which he later reversed, Tamim’s spot on the squad has been the subject of much speculation in the Bangladeshi media. The opener, who is Bangladesh’s leading run-scorer in the format, took a brief break to recover from a recurring back injury. Subsequently, Tamim returned for the recently concluded home series against New Zealand, where he scored a half-century. Shortly after the World Cup squad was announced, Tamim posted a video message on his Facebook page, asserting that he had no fitness issues. He said, “I informed the selectors (after the second ODI against New Zealand) that this is the condition my body will be in. I will experience some pain. So when you select the team, keep this in mind.”

Tamim also disclosed that he had rejected the suggestion from a Bangladesh Cricket Board official to bat at No. 3. He explained, “He mentioned that if I played, they were considering putting me lower in the batting order. You need to understand my state of mind at that moment. I had just played a good innings, and I was content. Suddenly, this talk emerged. It was hard for me to accept. I have played for 17 years in the same position, and I have never batted at No. 3 or 4. I lack experience in the middle order. Naturally, I didn’t take kindly to this conversation. I disliked what the official had said. I felt as if I was being coerced. So, if you have this mindset, I told them not to send me to the World Cup. I don’t want to be a part of this unpleasantness,” Tamim stated in his video message.

Implications All this turmoil has left Bangladesh, a team that had secured an automatic spot in the World Cup and was preparing for the tournament, in a state of disarray. Only time will reveal whether Bangladesh can set aside these conflicts and come together as a cohesive unit on the cricket field.


Leave a Comment