Bangladesh Cricket Board chairman Nazmul Hasan has confirmed an ongoing rift between senior players Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan within the Bangladesh ground, revealing that it is “not a healthy dressing room” and that “it is not easy to fix problems ” between two .
Shakib and Tamim have been two of the most celebrated careers in Bangladeshi cricket but have also been the subject of rumors of an underlying rift between them. Both players have led the side at different times and different formats in their careers: Tamim retired from T20Is last year but will captain the team in the ODIs against England. Shakib is skipper of Test and T20I.
Talking with Cricbuzz, Nazmul Hasan spoke about the hinted dynamic between the two players, ahead of the upcoming home series against England, especially with the return of Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach.
“This is not a healthy dressing room, I can guarantee you that,” said Nazmul. “This thing [rift between Shakib and Tamim], it’s not that I haven’t tried to fix it. I’ve talked to both of them and I’ve heard that it’s not easy to sort things out [between the two] at the moment. This is my observation.”
“Both of you have been given a message: we don’t know what’s going on between you, but during a game or series you’re playing, those differences can’t come up. Both have assured that he will not be there during the match.”
Nazmul also pointed to a grouping system within the Bangladesh camp, with players creating factions within the setup and segregating based on it. The BCB chief said it was a recent problem, but could hamper the team’s growth if not addressed soon.
“The biggest problem for Bangladesh cricket at the moment is this grouping and this is the reality,” he said. “I have no problems with anything else. I’m just scared of this grouping and only became aware of it in recent times. Even at the World Cup, what I saw and heard even though I hadn’t been to their hotel… I can’t believe how that’s possible. We have to end it if we are to see a good future because one thing everyone has to understand is that there is no room for regrouping.
When asked again about Shakib and Tamim, and how two elders, who aren’t into “talkers,” could help in such a situation, Nazmul said the two will have to find a way to communicate while being part of the same team.
“They [Shakib & Tamim] talk on the pitch and also in the locker room. The atmosphere in the locker room was also bad, but it has improved a bit. From this series [against England] I want to change it [their equation] at least in the locker room. What they do outside is not a problem for me.