Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal announced retirement from ODI cricket during an emotional press conference on Thursday. The news has come as a shock to cricket fans in Bangladesh and abroad, as the Cricket World Cup is only three months away. In a press conference in Chattogram, the Bangladeshi cricketer announced the news to a crowd of reporters.
The news comes following Bangladesh’s defeat to Afghanistan in the first of three scheduled ODI matches. “This is the end for me ,” Iqbal said. “I have given my best. I have tried my best. I am retiring from international cricket from this moment”. The press conference turned emotional when the 34-year-old stated that “One thing I will say is that I tried my best. I did try my best” before breaking into tears.
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Iqbal also thanked the fans and his teammates. “I want to thank all my teammates, coaches, BCB officials, my family members, and those who have been with me through my long journey. They kept faith in me.” Iqbal said. “I also want to thank the fans. Your love and faith in me inspired me to give my very best for Bangladesh. I want to ask for your prayers for the next chapter of my life. Please keep me in your prayers.”
Throughout his 16-year career, Iqbal amassed a number of records for the national team. The cricketer has the highest ODI runs (8313) and centuries (14) for his nation. He is also Bangladesh’s second-highest-scoring test batsman with 5134 runs at an average of 38.89 and ten centuries. Iqbal led Bangladesh to automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India through a third-place finish in the ODI Super League.