Bangladesh's Tamim reverses shock retirement after PM meet

Bangladesh Cricket Board director Jalal Yunus told AFP that Tamim had a change of heart after meeting with Hasina at her Dhaka residence.
Tamim Iqbal | AP
Tamim Iqbal | AP

DHAKA: Bangladesh cricketer Tamim Iqbal withdrew his retirement from international cricket Friday — a day after shocking teammates with his sudden resignation — following a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the country's cricket board said.

The veteran opener, 34, broke down crying while announcing the immediate end to his international career after leading his side to Wednesday's 17-run defeat in the first of a three-match one-day series against Afghanistan.

But on Friday, Bangladesh Cricket Board director Jalal Yunus told AFP that Tamim had a change of heart after meeting with Hasina at her Dhaka residence.

"Tamim Iqbal has withdrawn his retirement decision," Yunus said.

"However he will take a six-week rest to regain fitness. He has been under physical and mental pressure in the past six months, which affected his performance."

Tamim's emotional press conference on Thursday followed scathing criticism from BCB president Nazmul Hassan, who called the batsman's professionalism into question for playing the match despite admitting he was not 100 per cent fit.

The veteran player's meeting with the PM took place hours after selectors named wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das as captain for the remainder of the series against Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, Liton said Tamim's resignation had taken the team by surprise.

"None of us could realise this decision was coming," he told reporters. "He gave the Bangladesh team a lot for so many years.”

Tamim has established himself as one of the country's most dependable players and is the only Bangladeshi to score centuries in all three formats of the game.

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