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Tamim Iqbal returns to international cricket at PM’s request

Left-hand opener Tamim Iqbal has decided to return to international cricket at the request of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina following his sudden announcement of retirement.

The decision was taken after Tamim and his wife Ayesha Siddiqa met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Friday afternoon, sources said. Former Bangladesh cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was present there.
At the request of the prime minister, Tamim withdrew his decision of retirement from international cricket.

The prime minister also granted him one and a half months complete leave from cricket.

Later, Tamim and his wife along with Mashrafe came out of Ganabhaban.

Talking to newsmen, Tamim said, “The prime minister called in me and I talked to her. I am withdrawing my retirement decision. Though I said ‘no’ to all, I couldn’t say ‘no’ to the prime minister of a country.”

Earlier at 3:00pm, Tamim and his wife entered Ganabhaban along with former Bangladesh national cricket team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wanted to know from Tamim about the reasons behind his sudden announcement of retirement from international cricket. In response, Tamim explained the reasons behind his retirement.

After hoilding talks with Tamim over half an hour, the prime minister called in BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon there.

Earlier, Sheikh Hasina invited Tamim Iqbal and his wife Ayesha Siddiqa to meet her at Ganabhaban through Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, a ruling Awami League lawmaker from Narail-2 constituency. Knowing about the prime minister invitation from Mashrafe, Tamim and wife left Chattogram by a flight on Friday morning and arrived in Dhaka to go to Ganabhaban to meet the prime minister.

Tamim Iqbal’s meeting with the prime minister followed his sudden announcement of retirement from international cricket, abruptly ending his 16-year international career at a news conference in Chittagong on Thursday.

Tamim announced his resignation while surrounded by reporters. It happened the day after Bangladesh’s defeat in the first of the three ODIs against Afghanistan.

Tamim’s retirement came as a shock to the cricket community, with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief Nazmul Hassan Papon asking him to reconsider his decision.

Tamim’s Ganabhaban visit also came on the insistence of former captain and lawmaker Mashrafe.