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Dhaka Tribune

At least a win could have been satisfying: Tamim

Update : 09 Apr 2014, 05:01 PM

National opener Tamim Iqbal believes the reason behind Bangladesh’s poor showing in the ICC World Twent20 was not the pressure or high expectations from the nation’s people. While talking to the Dhaka Tribune in a personal interview, the talented southpaw from Chittagong explained what went wrong with the team and more about his below par performance.

Q. How is your post ICC World Twenty20 experience?

Tamim: Of course the experience is not good. We couldn’t perform as a team and I also couldn’t do much personally. Overall, the tournament was not a good one for us. What we will have to do now is to overcome this bad patch and concentrate on the future games.

Q. No one expected Bangladesh to perform befitting a champion. But a general feeling is Bangladesh could not even play up to their potential and nation’s expectations. What do you think went wrong?

Tamim: I am sure no one expected us to lift the trophy but expected us to play 20 or 30 percent better than what we actually played because we are capable to perform at least that much. Expectations will be very much there as we have performed well in last two years and we were the ones to raise the expectation and nothing is wrong withthat. The main problem was four to five of us were out of form and this was the main issue. At least four to five players need to perform in Twenty20 for a team like us. If you have six players failingat the same time, then winning a game is impossible. I am sure every member of the team is disappointed for the way we performed in the tournament. At the moment, we will have to receive criticism and face many odd moments. But I am sure everyone will come to support us when we play next time.

Q. What damage control measures were taken during the tournament?

Tamim: The format of the tournament never gave a side much time to think. We had games almost every second day. So there wasn’t much time for damage control to be honest. The team management tried to keep the players mentally free and fresh ahead of a game. The players also tried to take a game at a time. Winning at least one game would have satisfied the efforts made by the general public who came to support us in the stadium. As I said, we failed because five to six of us failed to perform and when that happens, a team never gets success.

Q. Do you think the pressure from the fans, board or media should influence a professional cricketer?

Tamim: Yes, there were pressure and expectation on the players because we played well in the recent past and we raised their expectations. The supporters expected from us because we had won against big opponents. No one wants to fail in an exam.Likewise, our supporters will not expect us to lose. There will be expectations and to some extent, I think we are lucky that people expect from us because we were never a champion side and if the supporters had not expected, the world would not have known Bangladesh as a cricket crazy nation. So these pressures are very standard things.However,at the same time, I will also expect that our supporters should not expect anything which is impossible for us.

The effect of expectations on a professional cricketer actually varies from person to person. But to be honest, it does have an impact but one should not be too concerned I guess or else it will affect one’sgame. I am sure all the fifteen members of the team want to develop and move a step forward with the pressure alongside.

Q. You personally went through a bad patch and you must have heard people criticizing you, evento the extent of dropping you from the team. What are your thoughts on that?

Tamim: I don’t think much about all these to be honest. There will be a lot of criticism when you are going through a bad patch. People will demand to have you dropped from the team and at times you will hear offensive stuffs. It does not feel good to be honest but you also have to consider that these things are norms of a bad patch. My personal view on this is if you have done things right and have worked hard with your preparations - the criticism should not have effect on you. But if you have not worked hard with your preparations and then fail - you should feel guilty.

When I look into the mirror, I tell myself that I did try to prepare myself in the best possibleway but failed. I think my team mates, coaching staffs know what I did or what I didn’t. I failed and this is a very normal thing for a cricketer. Twenty20 is a format where it is difficult to recover. My job in this format is to give the side a quick start, which is to post quick runs on the board in first one or two overs and this involves risks.Except the match against India, I got out playing an attacking shot. I don’t think I played any game where I was too cautious and thinking of surviving in the middle to save my skin. I always wanted to deliver for the team. I tried to provide a good start but I failed in the end. One grabs all the happiness in good times. But I think the bad times should also be taken positively in a sense that how to overcome the situation.

Q. How do you plan to overcome the bad patch? Will no international cricket in next two months be of any help?  

Tamim: The vacation is not much to be honest. The NCL (National Cricket League) is starting next week. Personally it would have been better for me if I had got 10 to 12 days more without cricket. This would have helpedme to keep my mind fresh and not think much of cricket. I think this is the most important thing. Trying too much is not a good thing to do when things are not going well. What I have followed since my early days is to keep yourself away when things are not happening your way. The first-class cricket is starting in a week and doing well there will help me get my rhythm back.

No international game in next few months will surely help us regroup and make things right. We have played lots of cricket in last three months and the results were not positive. So a break is good.

This is not the end of the world. Yes, the tournament was big for us as we were the hosts. Failing here was disappointing but it was never the end. We have the 50 over World Cup next year and we should look forward to that.


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