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Tamim ‘felt obstacles in many places’

Tamim Iqbal, through a live Facebook video, put forth a shocking revelation yesterday. The country's best ever opening batter stated that his injury concern was not the underlying factor behind his exclusion from Bangladesh's World Cup squad. Following are the excerpts of what he said:

You are all aware that I retired for a reason. Then, at the Prime Minister's request, I returned. I toiled really hard over the last two months to get in shape. Those involved, particularly the physios, would agree that there was not a single session or activity that I was requested to undertake but did not.

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When the [New Zealand] series approached, I wasn't happy mentally for whatever happened in the last four-five months. But when I resumed playing, I fielded for 30-35 overs. Fortunately, I was able to bat in the second match.

After the game, I felt tremendously confident and mentally satisfied. I had forgotten about what had happened in the previous four or five months. I was excited to compete in the World Cup.

You should expect some discomfort after recovering from an injury layoff. The same thing happened to me. I told the physio about how I felt after that game. The three selectors arrived in the dressing room at that point.

I must clarify to you that not for once did I ever mention that I can't play more than five matches. I am sure even [chief selector Minhajul Abedin] Nannu cleared this yesterday. This lie was somehow fed to the media.

I didn't want to create another controversy, which is why, with full honesty, I told the selectors to keep my injury in mind when selecting me.

When I was assessed at the [team] hotel, they saw my pain and assessed me the next day. The most important factor is the physio report. Anyone wanting to challenge me on this, they are most welcome.

My condition was described in the physio report. That I had pain after the first match and after the second match. They said if I rest for the September 26 ODI and play the second practice match before the first [World Cup] match, I would have had two weeks of rehab and complete ten weeks of overall rehab. So, I would have been in a much better position to play the first match [of the World Cup against Afghanistan].

Afterwards, the incident that happened, I don't think my injury or this lie about the five matches had any contribution for me to not go to the World Cup. I have pain but I don't have an injury.

After a day or two, someone from the top level of the board, who stays very involved with us, called me. He said, you are going to the World Cup. We have to manage you. But do one thing, don't play the first match against Afghanistan.

I said to him that you are talking about something that's going to happen after 12 or 13 days. I will be in good condition by then. Why won't I be playing? He said that if you play, we are planning that you will bat down the order.

You have to consider my mindset at that moment. I had played a good innings. I was happy. Now all this talk suddenly. It was hard for me to take. I have been playing for 17 years in the same position. I have never batted at No. 3 or 4. I have no experience of batting in the middle-order. So, naturally, I didn't take this conversation well.

I felt that I was being forced to face obstacles in many places. I said if you have this mindset, then don't send me to the World Cup. I don't want to be in this nastiness.

Overall, I think, if you really want me, then you should make me mentally free and happy. I am coming out of a very bad three, four months. It was a tough time for me.

Perhaps, if all this was presented to me differently, maybe I would have reacted differently. Perhaps, I would have accepted it. But suddenly someone calls you and says, don't play, or if they are saying that sending you down the order is the plan, I am not too sure how fair it is.

You are seeing a lot of things happening. One story may be an isolated incident, two stories may be a misunderstanding. But if there are seven-eight stories with someone in three-four months, then it is intentional.

At the end of the day, I will wish the very best to the fifteen who have gone [to the World Cup]. I hope they will bring success to Bangladesh.

One more thing, please keep me in mind, everyone. Don't forget me.