Bangladesh Opener Tamim Iqbal takes six-month break from T20I cricket;

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Bangladesh Opener Tamim Iqbal takes six-month break from T20I cricket;

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal announced on Thursday that he will take another six months off from Twenty20 internationals, fueling concerns about his future in the format. Tamim has captained Bangladesh’s one-day international team for the past two years and is one of the country’s best batsmen. He hasn’t played a 20-over international since March 2020, and he withdrew from last year’s World Cup to make room for younger players.

Bangladesh did not win the tournament, and in November, they lost a clean-sweep series to Pakistan at home.

The team’s top-order woes have prompted calls for Tamim to return, but he made it clear on Thursday that he had other priorities.

“There were a few discussions over my T20 career in the last few days,” Tamim, 32, told reporters in Chittagong.

“They want me to continue T20 cricket until the World Cup (starting October), but I said I am not going to think T20 cricket in the next few months,” he added.

“Hopefully, young players will play so good in the next six months that I won’t be needed.”

Tamim is currently competing in the Bangladesh Premier League, where he has shown flashes of his previous T20 form, hitting two fifties in Dhaka’s first four matches.

Tamim explained that he needs to be picky with international engagements in order to have a long one-day and Test career.

“I have still four to five years left,” he said. “If I can stay fit I want to play another four or five years.”

Bangladesh will play two T20s at home against Afghanistan next month and three T20s away against the West Indies in June.

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