“I am sure someone who is authorized had said this (to Tamim),” Shakib, the Bangladesh captain, told the Dhaka-based TV channel T-Sports in an interview that was aired on Wednesday night. “I am sure whoever has said it, he thought of the team. A lot of things go into building a combination for a match. So if someone has said this to him, was it wrong? Or we can’t make such a proposal? I am just going to tell someone that you can do whatever you want. Is the team first or the individual?”
In a sustained and unsparing critique, Shakib said Tamim was being selfish in not thinking of the team.
“Someone like Rohit Sharma built his career from No. 7 to opener, scored 10,000-plus runs. If he sometimes bats at No 3 or 4, would it be a big problem? It is totally childish. It is my bat, I will play. No one else can play. A player should bat at any position for the team. Team first. It doesn’t make any difference if you have made 100 or 200, and the team loses. What can you do with personal achievement? You want to make a name for yourself?
“You are not thinking about the team at all. People don’t understand these things. Why was the proposal given to him? It was for the team. What is wrong in that? You are a team man when you agree to such a proposal. Unless you are thinking along those lines, you are not a team man. You are playing for individual records, success, fame, and name. Not for the team.”
Shakib said he didn’t want to carry a player with a fitness question mark over him into the World Cup and even went to the extent of saying anyone playing without being 100% fit is cheating the team.
“I didn’t discuss the subject with the particular player, medical team or selector. It is definitely the board’s decision. People might doubt my capability or capacity but someone like MS Dhoni, who has won everything and has the knowledge and sense, once said that the unfit player who is playing is cheating his team and country. I think we should accept it, and not just Tamim but every player (that you have to be fully fit when playing for the team or country).”
“Kane Williamson won’t play the first two matches, but then he will start playing,” Shakib said. “If I knew something like this, I wouldn’t have any problems. But if I know that there’s uncertainty about him playing the seventh or the third or the first game, or that I will only know in the morning of the game, it will be difficult for me to select the team. I don’t think we need such a player.”
There has been speculation that Tamim was only fit enough to play five matches at the World Cup and though the opener has refuted them as lies, not everyone is convinced.
“I certainly heard that he will play selectively,” Shakib said. “A journalist can’t really tell you that he will come to the office an hour before he wants to come to office. If you ask me personally, if I was the company CEO, I won’t keep that employee. Although I never had any discussion about this matter.”
“I don’t know why he didn’t leave it (earlier). He can tell you. It is like, your commander takes you to war but (Shakib mimicking a solider) after he has got you ready, the commander isn’t telling you to fire or retreat. Where will you go? We were in this situation in the last two matches against Afghanistan (in July).
“The captain wouldn’t have changed ahead of the Asia Cup and the World Cup, unless he himself announced that he was resigning or retiring. It would have happened 18 months ago, when everyone knew what was about to happen.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84