Tamim Iqbal indicated his desire to speak with Shakib Al Hasan a day before the start of the Bangladesh Premier League season, making yesterday’s match between Fortune Barishal and Rangpur Riders highly anticipated.
As a result, it came as no surprise that Shakib, Tamim, and numerous national stars, including Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, drew large crowds to the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur over the weekend.
However, the quality of cricket expected from a T20 match fell short, as it became a low-scoring encounter, mirroring the tournament’s opening fixture, leaving fans and journalists focused solely on the moment Tamim and Shakib completed formalities at the end of the match.
Tamim-led Fortune Barishal won the match with five wickets and the same number of deliveries. According to footage, the duo exchanged a simple handshake after returning to the pitch for the first time since the latter half of last year, triggered by Tamim’s retirement-to-unretirement saga, before Shakib added fuel to the fire during an explosive interview with T Sports ahead of the ODI World Cup in India.
When pressed to divulge the nature of his contact with Shakib at the post-match news conference, the victorious captain chose the simple answer, “No.”
The dashing opener, who picked up five singles while facing seven balls from Shakib during his quick 24-ball 35, seemed irritated when the question was repeated.
“I don’t believe this question is significant. You are all aware of the situation. Why do you keep poking? “If you have any questions, ask Shakib,” Tamim replied.
When asked about his return to competitive cricket after three months, Tamim confessed that his anxiety relaxed after striking his maiden boundary early in the innings.
“It was especially difficult since I hadn’t trained in two and a half months. I’ve been preparing for the last two weeks, and I believe it was a good start for me both as a captain and as a hitter,” he remarked.
Shakib, on the other hand, returned after missing the previous two ICC World Cup matches due to a finger injury; it was subsequently revealed that he had eyesight impairment during the major tournament.
Shakib, who was elected as a member of parliament at this time, would be unhappy with his overall performance on his return to the spotlight.
He was out of sorts with the bat before getting removed by bowler Khaled Ahmed for two runs. Nonetheless, the 36-year-old showed his skill with the ball, taking a pair of wickets and conceding just 16 runs in four overs.
Given Shakib’s personality, the great cricketer would surely want to win the next fight when he faces Tamim.
Meanwhile, fans and media will be eager to see the next installment in the long-running drama between Bangladesh cricket’s two stalwarts.