BCB scrutinize Tamim

Bangladesh Cricket Board can't handle the truth

Umid Kumar Dey
Published Date: 14 Dec 2017 | Update : 15 Dec 2017

He raised his index finger first. And then added his middle finger to the party. And then his ring finger. And then, finally, his pinky. The message was conveyed and delivered to the intended target—they knew it was for them.

They knew, then, that he wasn’t someone they could trifle with.

It was his fourth consecutive 50 and it was in a prestigious tournament, where he wasn’t even supposed to play. The highest power in the hierarchy tried his best to ensure the player’s non-participation. He went as far as overriding the selection committee’s decision of selecting the player, but for all the lengths that he traversed, he failed to keep him out of the team.

The Prime Minister of the country intervened. In a country like Bangladesh, the Prime Minister’s word holds the highest power. So when she, respected Sheikh Hasina, asked BCB to retrace their decision and let the player in the team, they had to oblige.

And so Tamim Iqbal was in the team, and then he scored four consecutive 50s in the Asia Cup to help Bangladesh reach the final of the tournament.

Ever since that saga, the Chittagongian has been a different player. He looks way more matured and someone with sense of responsibility. Elegance took over recklessness as Tamim Iqbal became the player everyone hoped he would be.

But Tamim is Tamim—and there are certain things that you can’t take away from him.

Among them, speaking his mind out is something that he has always done—something that gets him into trouble more than he would like. But he still does it because that’s how he is—that’s how most Chittagongians are.

Chittagong is a small town—so small that you could travel almost every part of it within a day. The people here are still a little laid-back and don’t really think much about the future. The present for them is all there is and that is where the focus always lies.

This actually shows in the way Chittangongian people talk. We like to talk what’s on our mind without thinking much about it. Perhaps, it is how we Chittagongians are built.  

So when Tamim Iqbal spoke about how dire the pitch at Mirpur was, it was not him talking—rather the Chittangongian in him was the one that expressed the utter disappointment. And, to be honest, it was coming.

This wasn’t the first time Tamim had to bat on a potato patch made by Gamini de Silva. Earlier this year against Australia in Tests, Tamim Iqbal scored two half-centuries to help Bangladesh beat the Kangaroos in Tests for the very first time.

That pitch wasn’t exactly a batsman’s paradise—and Tamim had to play his soul out to get the runs flowing.

So when Tamim’s Comilla took on Mashrafe’s Rangpur at a mashed potato of a pitch at Mirpur, the dashing left-handed batsman couldn’t hold himself back. He couldn’t fathom how Gamini was still allowed to make pitches like this despite continuous blunders.

“There is always an excuse that a lot of games are played in Mirpur,” Tamim began. “This time, however, there were no games for 10 days (when BPL shifted to Chittagong), but still the wicket is like this—only the curator [Gamini de Silva] can give us an answer.

“He should be called and asked about it.

“The thing that hurt the most was that so many fans came to watch the game, but they came and saw one team score 97 and the other struggling to reach it till the last over. This was very disappointing.

"I don’t know why these sort of wickets are being made.”

The BCB didn’t like the way Tamim told the truth in a cold and hard way. To them, it was an act of offense, something for which he was called for on 14th December—today—for a hearing of his deeds. Apparently, according to Tamim himself, they just didn’t like the way he said such a thing.

And so, they summoned him on the day he was supposed to be in UAE and play in the inaugural T10 game. They not only humiliated a senior player who will perhaps go down as the greatest batsmen of the Bangladesh team by the time he retires, they also made him miss his payday.

Had Tamim been more diplomatic in his ways—coated his words with a jelly of sycophantism and presented it with a gift wrapper—he wouldn’t have been in trouble. Or if he was covered in white skin like Brendon McCullum, he would have been saved.

But he is neither, he is a pure Chittagongian who speaks his mind without thinking too much. It has got him in trouble before, it will get him in trouble in the future.

For the Bangladesh Cricket Board, humiliating a player like Tamim for speaking the truth in the rawest possible way is nothing but a display of power. And this is not the first time that they did it. Once in a party during the 2015 World Cup , the opener was demeaned in front of everybody for his poor form. The impact of the incident was so much that he broke down to tears with Mashrafe Mortaza consoling him with all he had. 

It is not as if Tamim was being irrational about the pitch incident because both Mashrafe and McCullum didn’t like the surface—three players can’t be wrong—and were expressive about it.

So, in a logical world, the BCB should be looking after the matter and asking the curator about the logic behind making these surfaces. Instead, they throw mud at a player whose bat has brought the team a lot of glory and will bring more in the future as well.

But Tamim won’t change, he can’t change. He will always speak his mind and it will most likely be truth presented in a crude manner—like it should be—but the BCB can’t handle that.

They just can’t.

And they don’t deserve it either. 

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