Tamim cloud still hangs over Tigers
Three set for Twenty20 debut against Sri LankaAtif Azam . Chittagong
Despite a tense environment in the dressing room, Bangladesh is set to debut three newcomers for the first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mithun and Arafat Sunny are in line to play against the tourists as management’s deadline to announce Bangladesh’s squad for the ICC World Twenty20 draws near.
A stressed environment has surrounded the team following the resignation of Tamim Iqbal from the vice-captain’s post, prompting team management to issue an injunction against talking to anyone about any topic in an effort to make the players focus solely on practice.
Tamim Iqbal formally informed the Cricket Operations department of his decision to step down on Sunday after the Bangladesh Cricket Board made Mashrafee bin Murtaza the captain for the two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka instead of Tamim. Media and Communications chairman Jalal Younus said thereafter that the BCB had yet to accept his resignation. It was learned on Monday that BCB president Nazmul Hasan would be arriving in Chittagong today and a final decision regarding Tamim would be made then.
The uncertainty comes as selectors come up against a February 16 deadline to name the 15-man squad for the World Twenty20, a month before the tournament kicks off in Dhaka.
When asked whether this had become a trial series, selector Minhajul Abedin said, ‘you could say that.’
To make matters worse, Tamim’s availability for the first Twenty20 has been thrown into doubt due to a neck strain after a practice session on Sunday. He arrived at the ground yesterday with Sakib al Hasan but he did not practise and was seen talking with team physio Bibhav Singh.
The players, who are generally friendly with familiar journalists, were reluctant to even greet the media member present at the ground, possibly indicating the level of tension in the camp at the moment.
However, Bangladesh team manager MA Awal Chowdhury Bhulu denied that the environment in the dressing room was gloomy.
‘Coach [Shane Jurgensen] wants the players to concentrate on practice and that’s why he advised the players not to talk with anybody else.’
‘There is an official press conference tomorrow and then you will be allowed to talk with any players,’ he added.
Bhulu said that the Tamim situation had not had an adverse impact on the dressing room.
‘I don’t know what Tamim said, but the environment in the dressing room has been good so far. There is no problem and all the players have been okay.’
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