Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra has compared Bangladesh cricket to a “soap opera” after the massive controversy that has erupted over senior opener Tamim Iqbal’s non-selection in their World Cup 2023 squad.
The Bangladesh selectors left Tamim out of their 15-member squad and it was believed that the veteran cricketer had not completely recovered from his back injury. The opener, though, claimed that he was fit enough to go to India, but opted out after a senior BCB official asked him to bat down the order.
Reacting to Tamim’s claims, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan hit out at his teammate in an explosive interview and termed him as selfish for not agreeing to change his batting position for the team’s sake.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Chopra [2:30] took a dig at Bangladesh cricket over the controversy and commented:
“The Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Bangladesh cricket controversy is something different. Bangladesh cricket is a story in itself. It’s like a soap opera. One player says he won’t play, then he meets the prime minister. After he meets the PM, he says, okay I will do it for the country. But then again he says he won’t play.”
“The captain comes in and says he should bat down the order, the player says he won’t. What is happening, honestly? These two are really senior players. Earlier, I had heard that they were very good friends, but that doesn’t seem the case now,” he added.
“It’s tata bye bye to Tamim Iqbal as he not part of the team. Shakib termed him selfish. It’s become a big story. This is not the way you want to strt the World Cup, but that’s the story of Bangladesh,” Chopra concluded.
Tamim recently made a comeback to international cricket and scored 44 off 58 balls in the second ODI against New Zealand in Dhaka.
Mashrafe Mortaza slams BCB over Tamim Iqbal controversy
Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has blamed the Bangladesh Cricket Board for being unable to tackle the Tamim situation adeptly. According to Mortaza, Shakib should have personally spoken to the opener and tried to sort out the matter.
“As the captain, Shakib could have messaged Tamim or spoken for a minute, saying, ‘I have this plan, I’ll discuss it with you later.’ I think that would have resolved the entire issue here,” Mortaza said in a Facebook post.
“According to my cricket knowledge, this instruction of batting in the middle order or skipping the first game should have come from coach, captain or a selector who will go with the team. Not from any BCB official,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh will begin their World Cup 2023 campaign against Afghanistan in Dharamsala on October 7.