Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said on Friday (April 2) that he is soon planning to quit one format of the game in order to prolong his international career, but added that the upcoming T20 World Cup is very much on his mind.
Tamim skipped the just-concluded three-match T20I series against New Zealand due to personal reasons. Tamim’s decision to not play the T20Is as well as the unending discussion around his strike rates have led to speculations that it is the shortest format that he plans to give up. But Tamim did not specify and time-frame, insisted that playing in the T20 World Cup was on his agenda.
“Of course the T20 World Cup is very much on my mind and this is just six months away and I am not 36 or 37, so why not?,” Tamim told Cricbuzz on Friday. “T20 is not out of mind. Look how I want to have my cricketing career and how I would like it to shape is in my head. I know which format I want to leave early and which format I want to leave later. I know everything and I don’t think that I have to disclose everything to everyone.
“When I feel that I have to let go of this format to prolong the other two, I will not push myself and carry on with that. The message is very clear, I want to play for Bangladesh as long as possible and I want to give my best for the country. I want to leave one format just to make sure I can give my best to the other two formats. It is not that I am tired of Test cricket that I am leaving or I am tired of T20 that I am leaving, it is just to make sure that I can give my best to other two formats,” he said.
Though Tamim made it clear that he plans to go down this road of quitting one of the three formats, he remained tight-lipped about which format it would be that he gives up early.
“If I want to play for five to six years then it is very difficult for me to play three formats. Normally if you see the international cricketers around the world you will see they don’t retire from all the formats at one go.
“They let go of one format and then they play the other two formats and then they retire. What I want to say is that the same thing is for me if I feel now or say six months or year or after two years… if I feel that I have to let go of one format, I will let go of one format.
“I don’t want to indicate anything as I said it can be ODIs, Tests or T20s. I will play those two formats where I can contribute to the team and let go that format where I feel that I have nothing much to give,” said Tamim.