Tamim becoming a fan favourite again
“As cricketers, we are also entertainers. So I thought why don’t we do something together to keep the cricket-starved fans entertained in such a difficult time,” Tamim told The Business Standard.
Bangladesh's new ODI captain Tamim Iqbal might not have played a single game after he was appointed captain of the team due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but he's already winning the hearts of fans.
The left-handed opener started a series of live streams on social media with fellow cricketers and has shown a different side of him and the cricketers - Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, and Mashrafe Mortaza.
"As cricketers, we are also entertainers. So I thought why don't we do something together to keep the cricket-starved fans entertained in such a difficult time," Tamim told The Business Standard (TBS) on why he started doing these live videos.
A passing of the torch
When Tamim was initially named captain of the ODI team, it was met with mixed reactions from the cricketing fraternity but the last live video he did with former ODI captain Mashrafe was in many ways a passing of the torch from one captain to the next.
In the live video, Tamim repeatedly insisted that the captain of the team to him forever will be Mashrafe, echoing the sentiment held by many die-hard fans of the Tigers.
"I want people to judge me on my captaincy in the field and how I do there. Like I have said, what I'm doing here is to help people stay entertained in these difficult times," Tamim explained how people should wait to see what he can do for the national team as a captain.
A noble cause
Tamim himself has been doing his part to help others battle through the Covid-19 pandemic.
From making donations to charities, to financially helping other athletes and sportspersons through these difficult times where income is scarce.
In his three live videos, he has also highlighted the various charitable works his fellow teammates have been doing so far and he hopes that it encourages others to come forward and help as well.
Tamim even showed keen interest to bid for Mushfiq's bat with which he scored his first Test double-century against Sri Lanka.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was the first cricketer to put his bat up for auction before others also stepped up, including the U-19 and women's team players.
Some fascinating insights
If you haven't watched the three live videos, they each include some very interesting stories that happen between the players in the dressing room.
The story of Mushfiq as a fast bowler and how he eventually became a wicket-keeper and the one about Nafees Iqbal - Tamim's older brother - and his sacrifices for Tamim are especially riveting.
There is a lot of fun and friendly banter between Tamim and the others as well which reveals some amazing details about Mashrafe and his predictions.
He once predicted that he would take the off stump of Virender Sehwag ahead of the 2007 World Cup match against India and that's exactly what happened as Bangladesh went on to record a historic win.
The videos also show the camaraderie between Tamim and his teammates and the relationships he has with these players, and it is a sign of assurance that things are good within the dressing room.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is how much leaner and fitter Tamim looks in the videos with a much sharper, chiseled jaw.
"I have been working and training very hard even though I've been stuck at home and eating healthy," he says
Tamim's certainly doing the homework ahead of each live video and he keeps his questions jotted down next to him.
In his next video, on Friday, he will be bringing the pace duo of Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain.
One can certainly hope that this good work to boost the morale of the fans and the players here trickles down onto the field and reflects on the performances of the players when Mr. Khan finally takes the reins.