In the quarter-final of the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, the Bangladesh U-19 side faced off against the South African teens. Bangladesh went on to win the match easily by 104 runs to grab their second-ever semi-final spot in the youth World Cup, courtesy of a five-for from Raqibul Hasan. But despite Raqibul taking home the man of the match award, it was an opener who caught everyone's eye. He was Tanzid Hasan Tamim, whose 80 runs had set the platform for Bangladesh to pile up a total too good for the Proteas.
Tamim, just like his namesake Tamim Iqbal, bats with flair and flamboyance. The similarity in their names has only seen comparisons grow.
The Business Standard (TBS) caught up with Tamim and talked to him regarding his future plans, his World Cup-winning feeling and how he has been enjoying the fame since.
"Actually, I can not put that feeling into words. It was unbelievable. We lost the U-19 Asia Cup prior to the U-19 World Cup to India by a very close margin (five runs). It was a small target but we could not achieve it. So, we learned our lesson and used that experience in the World Cup final. By God's grace, everything went very well," Tamim recalls the moments from the exhilarating final of the under-19 World Cup.
The left-handed opener explained that they had the belief that they had a genuine chance of winning the World Cup and they eventually managed to execute their plans properly.
"Definitely. We dominated all our series, tournaments prior to the World Cup, except for the tri-series in England where we lost to India in the final. The way we dominated boosted our confidence that we could do something good in the World Cup," Tamim said.
Although Tamim was the star with the bat in the quarter-final of the World Cup after scoring 80 against hosts South Africa, the batsman believes he could have done better with the bat as he failed to score over 50 in any of the other games: "Overall, I was not satisfied. I could have made my innings" bigger. But what is gone is gone. So, now I am working on my mistakes so that I don't repeat them in the future."
Tamim, who is currently opening with another Tamim, Tamim Iqbal in the President's Cup explained how he managed to stay fit despite the six-month break from cricket. He hopes the hard work he's done in this time will help him become a better player in the future.
"I was in good shape in the few months after the World Cup. The DPL (Dhaka Premier League) started, we were all playing, it was a great platform to perform as the focus was on us. But for more than six months, cricket is at a halt. I have been trying to keep myself fit and prepared, fix the errors in my game, improve my skills so that whenever I get an opportunity, I can make its full use," Tamim expressed.
Even though Tamim is currently opening for Tamim XI in the three-team one-day tournament, he knows that the national team has a lot of openers and it will be tough to get in. But the left-hander would be happy if he gets an opportunity to represent the country, even if he doesn't get to bat in his preferred position: "I don't think like that. I feel that wherever I play, I will try to perform match-by-match. And if I get an opportunity in the national team, I will try to do my best."
The opener is pleased with the adulation that has come his way since becoming a World Cup winner but he knows that making it to the national team and having a big international career is the main objective.
"It feels great that people now recognise me as a World Cup winner. But the main work starts now. The road ahead is what matters," Tamim explained.
The next one day World Cup is scheduled to take place in 2023 and Tamim and his under-19 World Cup-winning teammates might feature for Bangladesh in the biggest tournament in cricket. However, he just wants cricket to return properly before anything else: "I have never thought like that as there has been next to no cricket since we returned from the World Cup."
Tamim, however, does see a bright future for him and his under-19 teammates and expects them to represent the senior team in the near future.
"I would want everybody to play for the national side. We all had a great team bonding as we spent two years together, which led us to play as a team. And I think that definitely, it was the reason behind our success," he concluded.