Bangladeshi batsman Tamim Iqbal has withdrawn from the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The left-hander hasn't played in the 20-over format since the Tigers' home series against Zimbabwe in March 2020. Since January 2019, the Chittagong-born cricketer has only played three T20Is.
The southpaw believes it would be wrong for him to return to the starting lineup after missing multiple games in recent months. He did say that he would not be leaving the game's shortest format.
Tamim is the second-highest run-scorer for the Tigers in T20Is, after only Shakib Al Hasan. With one century and seven half-centuries, the veteran has 1701 runs at an average of 24.65 in 74 matches. He is the only cricketer from Bangladesh to score a century in a T20I game.
He achieved the feat against Oman in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup in India. Tamim has 514 runs in 23 T20 World Cup matches at an average of 24.47. In Dharamsala, he also made an unbroken 83 against the Netherlands and a century against Oman.
Bangladesh has used various opening hitters in Tamim's absence, including Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim Shaikh, and Liton Das. Even Mahedi Hasan became the opening batter for Bangladesh during the T20I series against Australia.
Tamim last played T20 format cricket when he plays for Prime Bank Cricket Club in the Dhaka Premier League. In the first Bangabandhu T20 Cup, he also led Fortune Barisal to victory.
Bangladesh will face New Zealand in a five-match T20I series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium beginning September 1.