Saturday, 1 April, 2023

Let them play freely

  • Z. Azam from Chattogram
  • 7th March, 2023 05:07:23 PM
  • Print news

Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal hogged all spotlight on him and Shakib Al Hasan after he called the all-rounder to have a look at the wicket during a practice session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram ahead of the third ODI against England.

‘Hey Shakib, Shak’ was the exact word that came out of Tamim’s mouth but it seemed that was good enough to be a headline, if not anything else.

Shakib was talking with his teammates and playing with a football and could not hear what the captain was calling him but he quickly responded when one of his teammates told him that the captain was calling him to inspect the wicket.

Shakib responded to Tamim’s call and accompanied him to the wicket and it immediately became the topic of discussion while the photojournalists and videographers seemed busy taking snaps keeping both of them in one frame.

Both of them in the same frame became the most valuable thing since the BCB boss Nazmul Hassan Papon revealed that both of them are not on talking terms outside the ground.

Tamim said that he is totally fine in the present scenario as long as they are doing their job professionally on the field as he feels it is not necessary to have coffee or go out with everyone in the team and all that matters is whether their motive is all right or not.

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha echoed the same sentiment before ending the chapter stating that it is not the right place to discuss the issue.

When another journalist tried to get something out of him by asking him what he thinks about the current relationship between the duo after he answered a similar question, he brought an end to the topic citing that he does not feel these things got any relationship with the series.

If insiders are to be believed, the fallout has been going on for so long that not many are aware when it even began and it only came in front of the public in the recent past.

Nazmul faced the music more than anyone else since that revelation as he had to face the media on several occasions where he was asked what the real issue between them was and each time, he pointed his finger at the media stating that he learnt about it from different media.

 The BCB boss said that he is not losing his sleep over it as both of them assured him that it won’t affect their performance and he is fine with that.

Both Shakib and Tamim kept their word if not anything else during the course of the three ODIs against England.

This is not the first time that two leading cricketers of an international side are having an ego clash and certainly it won’t be the last time either. There have been such cases in international cricket and if history is taken into account it won’t take long to bring out a list of cricketers who were not the best of friends in the dressing room but never shied to put combined effort to bail out their team in the time of crisis.

However, this is not a common scenario in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity and probably that is the lone reason from media to general people the only topic of discussion turned out was surrounded regarding the relationship between two mega stars of the country- Shakib and Tamim - as cricket is just not a game here rather it is some kind of religion and the duo are like larger than life characters.

It was not the first time Shakib and Tamim were seen exchanging words during the three-match ODI series that started with Tamim asking for a thrower to Shakib when the two were batting together at the net at BCB indoor after Shakib joined the team.

In the opening game of the ODI series, Tamim took a catch of Shakib and they were seen talking to each other on the field as like two regular teammates do and a lot of attention was drawn in the second game when they had a 79-run partnership.

Both of them were seen exchanging plans during the partnership like in the 12th over, Shakib defended two balls of Will Jacks and later took a single and in the stump microphone it was heard loud and clear that Shakib was telling Tamim “Ball aste aste asche khelte parbi (the ball is coming slowly and you can play it).”  

Shakib gave a smile to Tamim when he received full assurance from him to take a review after being given out lbw to Jacks that was later found not out as the ball hit his gloves first. There were few other instances when both of them were seen together.

Bangladesh Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin and his colleague Habibul Bashar joined Shakib, Tamim and Hathurusingha when they were discussing the wicket at the ZACS ahead of the third ODI and according to Minhajul, it seems everything is fine between them as far as cricket is concerned.

“They were giving their inputs about the wicket during the discussion and it was fine between them. What I feel is that they are exchanging their views about making plans and other things as well regarding the series and that is good enough for us,” Minhajul told The Daily Sun.   

“I think both of them are professionals and well aware of their responsibilities towards the team and that is all that matters because honestly speaking I have not seen any one of them not coming forward when the other needs him on the field or while making plans for a game and I think that is most important more than anything else,” he said.

Tamim hugged Shakib after the third ODI win and it looked like a perfect picture to end all the drama that surrounded their relationship as it indicates when it comes to serving the nation they are well and truly unified for the cause irrespective of their differences in personal life.

They should be allowed to make their own choices as far as that is not having any impact on the team as it happens in some other teams.

Whether that will be the case or not remains to be seen but most importantly they should be allowed to play freely without always being scrutinized by the lenses of the cameras that are up to snap keeping them in one frame.