Says recent struggles changed him
Tamim Iqbal will be the second Bangladeshi after all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to take part in the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which begins on April 4 as the dashing Tigers opener has signed for the Pune Warriors franchise.
With the signing of Tamim, who replaces injured Australian all-rounder James Hopes, and earlier that of Australia captain Michael Clarke, Pune Warriors have filled all their overseas slots for the coming season.
The left-hander was unsold in the auction but his great run of form in the Asia Cup, where he hit a Bangladesh record four consecutive fifties, opened doors for him to sign up at a base price of 50,000 dollars.
The Chittagonian now becomes the fifth Bangladeshi player to take part in the lucrative Twenty20 competition after Abdur Razzak (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (Kolkata Knight Riders), Mohammad Ashraful (Mumbai Indians) and Shakib (Kolkata Knight Riders).
Tamim and the franchise management, led by their captain Sourav Ganguly, had been involved in talks for the past week and finally the formalities were completed on Wednesday.
“It feels great, to be honest. I have had four good matches and now the contract with the Pune Warriors, I’m honoured,” he said when asked how it felt to finally have an IPL contract.
Tamim said that he wants to take the opportunity so that he can open the door for more Bangladeshi players.
“With the T20 World Cup coming up this year, it will be a big opportunity for me to perform in the format. It’ll be an extra boost so it is very important that I do well. More importantly, just like Shakib opened the door for me, I would want that with my inclusion in the IPL, it will let other players from my country play in this competition,” said an excited Tamim.
“I can gain a lot of experience by playing with greats like Sourav Ganguly and Michael Clarke. I like to talk a lot about cricket so I think I am lucky to be playing for them and look forward to learn new things,” he added.
Despite his impressive run in the Asia Cup, Tamim believe that there are areas where he must improve, like converting fifties into hundreds.
“The Asia Cup performance means a lot to me, especially given the circumstances [ahead of the tournament]. The runs I scored were important for the team as well as me personally. Despite what happened, I still contributed.
“I could have converted all of them into hundreds so that’s an area where I want to improve myself. However, I can’t practice converting 50s into 100s in the nets; I have to do it in the middle. I have shared this with senior cricketers like Akram [Khan] chacha, [Minhazul Abedin] Nannu bhai, [Habibul Bashar] Sumon bhai and [Mohammad] Ashraful bhai. I have been constantly talking to someone like Stuart Law, who has a lot of hundreds under his belt from his playing days. Then there is someone like Mohammad Yousuf, who kept on reminding me to go on and get a hundred. So all this will help me get to that mark,” continued the impressive left-hander.
Tamim also said that he learned a lot from all the struggles before the Asia Cup.
“After what has happened, I can say that I have changed as a human being. And as a cricketer, I have learned that no matter how big a player is and how much he has performed over the years, one bad series and it can all go wrong. Another thing that I have understood is that I must think of the game all the time, and not let outside thoughts come in. That is the only way to do well in this game,” he opined.
Says recent struggles changed him