“I can assure you that I always get his help as an ODI captain, and I am always there if needs any suggestions in the Test team. When we bat together, or when we are celebrating his wicket, it’s absolutely normal.”
Shakib wasn’t available for a comment as he is reportedly in the USA for family reasons. Tamim said that he would have preferred to have Shakib with the squad ahead of the England series, but he understands why Shakib needs to be away. “It is definitely important for the whole squad to be together. But I have said it before that family is the most important thing. Family is above everything else.”
Tamim said he had sat down with Shakib in a meeting to work through things, but did not elaborate much. “It [the meeting] was between two individuals who are very important members of the team. The matter shouldn’t have come out of that room. I am not commenting on that. Everything [ending their disagreements] is possible.”
When asked whether it was distracting to deal with such questions before a big series, Tamim said he felt it was more important for him to clear the air. “I was prepared since yesterday [when Nazmul’s interview was published]. I have never seen so many journalists in one room. I knew these questions would come.
“The important thing is, when Shakib and I put on the Bangladesh jersey, we are giving our best. And if we are helping each other when we are leading the teams, nothing else matters.”
Tamim Iqbal says things are fine with Shakib Al Hasan
“It would have been very easy for me to say ‘No comments, let’s move forward’, but I think it was important to give my message to the journalists and fans.”
Tamim said that he had not noticed any cliques in the team, but the word has a way of popping up in the media when the team isn’t doing well. “I have been playing for Bangladesh for 17 years. At different times when the team wasn’t doing well, this term was being used. I am not just saying this – I am quite a straightforward person, and I have never seen grouping in my career.
“I don’t know if it developed in the last six months when I wasn’t with the team, but it doesn’t seem like it. I haven’t seen anything in the last three or four days [during the preparatory camp]. We have been having fun, talking about the BPL, etc. But sadly, when the team isn’t doing well, this term comes up. Now the team is doing well. And as far as I am concerned, everything is fine.”