‘Tamim will lead for the long term’

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Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President had said last month that they would appoint a new ODI captain with the 2023 ICC World Cup in mind, and speculations surrounding who the new leader would be intensified after Mashrafe Bin Mortraza announced that the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe on Friday would be his last as captain.

Bangladesh’s most successful ODI captain, Mashrafe had also urged that the BCB should appoint the new captain on a long-term basis as it would help the team and the new captain to take Bangladesh further in the coming days.

There were rumours, however, that the BCB may opt for a short-term captain in ODIs and Hassan, after a board meeting yesterday, named Tamim Iqbal as the new ODI captain of the Tigers.

Although Hassan did not reveal any time frame for Tamim’s captaincy tenure, he did mention that the left-handed opener has been appointed for the longer term.

The possibility of a short-term captain was also on the table, and it was learned that the board were waiting for Shakib Al Hasan, who will make a return to international cricket from October 29 this year after serving out a ban for not reporting corrupt approaches from a bookie.

But there were also opinions against appointing Shakib as becoming the new captain right after returning from a ban would create the wrong impression for the team.

“Yes, we thought about appointing the ODI captain for the short-term and was supposed to name a long-term captain next year. But we have decided in today’s [Sunday’s] board meeting to make Tamim captain for the long term. We are not thinking of the short-term,” Hassan told reporters at the BCB headquarters yesterday.

Tamim had previously been the vice-captain on a number of occasion and was even removed from his post later. The 30-year-old had led Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka in August last year when regular skipper Mashrafe was injured at the last minute.

He also captained Bangladesh in Tests in 2017 against New Zealand in Christchurch, becoming the ninth Test captain for the Tigers after then skipper Mushfiqur Rahim got injured ahead of the game.

The cricketer from Chattogram however was not interested to lead the side in the past, mainly because he thought the added responsibility might hamper his batting.

“This is a massive honour for me. I thank the BCB for trusting me with this responsibility. I am aware that I have huge shoes to fill as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has been a true great for Bangladesh cricket and a model of inspiration as captain for me and all the cricketers.

“The journey that begins now will have its ups and downs. We all want the Bangladesh ODI team to be successful and when we are victorious it is a celebration for the entire nation. I hope the board, the fans and the media will support me through the tough moments as well as during the good times,” Tamim was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the BCB yesterday.

The upcoming one-off ODI against Pakistan on April 1 in Karachi is set to be Tamim’s first assignment.

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