Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said on Saturday that he will only play in the World Cup if he can manage to be hundred per cent fit. Tamim is recovering from a knee-operation and now following a rehabilitation programme to attain full fitness ahead of the World Cup, scheduled to start in Australia and New Zealand from February 14. Tigers’ coach Chandika Hathurusinghe recently iterated that Tamim needs to achieve full fitness to get a chance in the starting XI at the World Cup and should play at least two practice matches leading up to the tournament.
‘I hope to play with 100 per cent fitness,’ Tamim told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Saturday. ‘I don’t think anyone would want to play an unfit player, especially not in a big tournament.
‘I don’t want to be a burden to the team, so I am putting equal importance to my fielding,’ said Tamim.
Tamim said that he was disappointed not be a part of the team from the beginning as he could not accompany the Bangladesh squad that left Dhaka on Saturday for their World Cup campaign.
Tamim will fly to Melbourne today to meet Australian surgeon David Young to know about his present state as well as take an injection to gain quick recovery.
‘There is a bit of disappointment as it is a different feeling to go with the team in such a big event,’ said Tamim.
‘But it is about my treatment, which is very important for me. I am still not fit, but I hope to recover considerably after the next injection. It would be great if I can become fit before the first match [against Afghanistan].
‘I don’t think there is a major problem. I am playing all kinds of shots against all sorts of bowling.
‘My next running session is vital. I had some pain before the operation, so if my pain goes away, I will be ahead in my race to fitness.
‘I will get my injection on the morning of January 27, and I will meet a physio in the evening. They will give me instructions for the upcoming weeks.
‘I will join the squad on January 28 and start practice the next day. I have completed two of the three sessions in Australia. I will complete the last one now,’ he said.
Tamim added that the will be going through the rehabilitation programme even during the tournament, hoping to take part in two practice matches as demanded by Hathurusinghe.
‘Of course I should be able to play at least two practice matches.
‘I will try to play the warm-up matches in Brisbane since I have heard that wickets there are one of the toughest in Australia,’ said Tamim.
Tamim, who earned his fame through his maiden World Cup appearance in 2007, blazing from all corners in the opening game against India, settled his goal through scoring the maiden World Cup century for the Tigers.
‘I didn’t set any goals in the 2007 World Cup. I was too happy to be playing against the big teams.
‘In the next tournament, I had set myself some goals but I couldn’t fulfill them.
‘We played at home but I wouldn’t say it was a great World Cup for me. I haven’t started well in this campaign because of the injury. But I hope to finish it nicely.
‘There are no centuries for Bangladesh in the World Cup, so I hope I can be the first one to do that. If I can’t do it, I would hope someone from this team does it,’ added the left-hander.
-With New Age input