Home / Sports / ‘When Shakib and I step onto the field, nothing else holds importance for us’: Tamim

‘When Shakib and I step onto the field, nothing else holds importance for us’: Tamim

Tamim Iqbal’s first press conference in months ahead of a crucial ODI series against England at home, which is also part of the World Cup Super League, was expected to focus on cricket.

However, the captain ended up addressing his relationship with teammate Shakib Al Hasan, who leads Bangladesh in Tests and T20Is.

Prior to Tamim’s media appearance on Sunday, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Nazmul Hasan, spoke openly about the “unhealthy state” of Bangladesh’s dressing room, as he indicated, due to the “strained” relationship between Tamim and Shakib.

Tamim did not deny the authenticity of the speculation and refrained from playing down the issue, but emphasized that on-field performance takes priority over off-field issues.

“When Shakib and I step onto the field wearing the Bangladesh jersey, nothing else holds importance for us. Our sole focus is to represent Bangladesh to the best of our abilities and play with utmost dedication,” he said.

The BCB president had attempted to resolve the “dispute” between the two players but found it challenging, he said in the interview with Cricbuzz, a cricket website based in India. There are also rumors of factions emerging in the dressing room centered around Shakib and Tamim, which Tamim denied experiencing before.

“I’ve been playing for the Bangladesh team for the last 16 years, and this grouping thing comes up when the Bangladesh team fail to live up to the expectations,” Tamim said.

“I’ve heard about rumors of grouping culture in the past, but I have never experienced it in the dressing room. As I was out of the national team for the last six months, I am not aware of any recent emergence of such culture,” he added.

The Bangladesh ODI captain responded diplomatically to the repetitive questions, stating that he and Shakib are willing to help each other when needed, particularly in terms of their captaincy roles. Tamim’s main priority remains to perform well for Bangladesh and lead the team to success.

“This is a special series, and we are focusing to do well,” Tamim replied to one of a few questions about cricket.