Having scored two half-centuries and two scores of above 30 in six games, Tamim Iqbal’s short stint with the Wellington Firebirds in the HRV cup, a T20 competition in New Zealand, turned out to be quite a successful one for the left-handed opener. The batsman, who opened the innings alongside Jesse Ryder in the competition, provided early impetus with the bat in almost every game that he played.
Upon his return to the country yesterday, his initial reaction was one of satisfaction with the creditable performance. “It was a fantastic experience for me. Apart from performing I also got the opportunity to get to know their culture, their cricket and their cricketers. It was a challenge and I enjoyed every bit of it,” said Tamim.
While Tamim’s performance in the HRV cup did earn him a lot of acclaim, the left-hander however claimed that his main objective remained elsewhere. It was an opportunity for him to work on his batting technique with former Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons, who currently works for the Firebirds.
“I wanted to go there because I was not quite happy with my batting. I noticed that the way I was batting in 2010 and the way I am batting now, there is a huge difference. I may have been amongst the runs but I felt that there was something wrong with my technique,” said Tamim. The batsman claimed that he had gained a ‘special trust’ with Siddons, something that had been built during the Australian’s three-year stint with Bangladesh.
“Ex-cricketers in Bangladesh are obviously capable of addressing my mistakes. However, I think every cricketer has a coach whom they trust and for me that’s Jamie,” said Tamim.
The opener stated that he had spent long hours in the nets with Siddons, the effect of which was felt towards the end of his spell. “I think in the last couple of matches I realised what I was doing wrong and I batted with a mixed technique, which included things from the past and the newer lessons. Its something that I can change in time,” said the 23-year-old.
Describing one such problem that bothered the left-hander, he said, “In 2010, I used to have one short foot movement. But at the moment I have two-three foot movements. This was just one of the problems that I worked on. I’ll work on it whenever I find a gap.”
Apart from working on his batting technique, Tamim also relished the experience of playing in a ‘more challenging’ cricketing atmosphere. “Domestic cricket there [in New Zealand] is a lot more serious. For instance, the kind of planning, discussions and meetings that we had before the matches, resembled the ones that I attended before an international match,” said Tamim.
“Every game is recorded and that gave me an opportunity to have a look at my opponents. I actually didn’t know any bowler there when I reached and that helped me a lot,” he added.
Tamim’s next assignment is the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20. Despite having a terrible experience in the inaugural edition, where he ended up playing just two matches, the opener remained optimistic.
“My first wish will be to play all the matches this year. It’s a big event and it’s not perfect, but its something that Bangladesh cricket requires,” said Tamim.
The player — who was one of the many victims to have suffered from the ‘players payment crisis’ during the first edition, hoped that the second year would be different. “I know that Rajshahi may have had a few problems with Mushfiqur (Rahim) bhai, but I’ll make sure that there will be no problems with me. I haven’t yet spoken to the new owners about my payment, but I am confident that they’ll follow the by-laws,” he said.
-With The Daily Star input