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Tamim will play the opening ODI despite being under the weather.

Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal proclaimed himself available for the first one-day international of a three-match series against Afghanistan despite not being 100 percent fit. Tamim’s availability remains a significant concern for Bangladesh, as the veteran batsman missed the one-off Test due to back issues last month.

Tamim did not appear comfortable in practice after receiving this assignment, and he labored with his back during fielding and batting. Yesterday at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, the left-handed opener faced throwdowns for 20 minutes, but he did not participate in today’s session.

“I’m definitely available for tomorrow. Physically, I am in a better state than before but I won’t say I am at hundred percent,” Tamim told reporters at Chattogram. “After the game tomorrow, I will be able to understand what’s the situation but till now, [the decision is] I am playing tomorrow,” he said.

However, the Bangladesh captain quickly added that he would not disregard medical advice to challenge himself in match play. Tamim stated, “I think that’s more of an idea because I need to determine how much I can handle and how much I can’t.” “However, I will not do anything that causes the team harm. I always emphasize the importance of the team over the individual.

“Right now, I feel that I am ready for tomorrow, but during the game if I feel that I am not ready and it can be too risky then I, along with the medical department, will take a decision. For now, I am fit to play tomorrow and let’s see what happens next match,” he added.

Bangladesh have not officially announced their ODI vice-captain, but according to CricAdvisor, Litton Das will lead the side if Tamim is unable to play. When asked if he believes he needs a deputy, Tamim stated that he had no say in the matter.

“The captain and the vice-captain are decided by the board and my opinion in this regard is unnecessary. I don’t think any captain says that he needs him as vice-captain or he needs that person. If the board feels it is necessary in that case they will decide accordingly.

“I am sure there are lot of cricketers in our team who is capable of doing it (vice-captaincy). It will be great if the board decides to appoint a vice-captain because normally in every format there is a captain and a vice-captain,” he said.

Tamim clarified that he would like to give Mohammad Naim and Afif Hossain opportunities in the XI with an eye on the World Cup.

“We will try to give chance to everyone in this series but that is not guaranteed. We want to give chance but that is not necessary because if something is going well there is no point breaking it but at the same time, we would love to give Naim some game time before the World Cup as he batting well in the nets. There is Afif too and we have the (urgency) of playing him as well,” he said.

“I don’t feel who are in the reserve should play a game straight away in a big tournament. If we can give one or two chances to them it will be good for them. You will get an idea which way we are going after seeing the playing XI tomorrow that we have selected. Whether we go with one extra batsman or bowler like we did in the previous series largely depends on seeing the opposition and we would like to do that,” he added.


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