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Muhammad Tamim Iqbal Khan (Bengali : ; born 20 March 1989) is an international Bangladeshi cricketer and former Test captain of the team. Tamim made his One Day International debut in 2007 and played his first Test the following year. A left-handed opening batsman, he is the Bangladeshi’s most successful runscorer to date. Between December 2010 and September 2011 he was vice-captain of the national side. Considered as the best ever opening batsman for Bangladesh, Tamim has set up centuries in all three formats of the game and is also the first Bangladeshi to score 10,000 international runs. On 23rd January 2018 against Zimbabwe at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka, he became the first batsman for Bangladesh to reach 6,000 runs in ODIs and went past Sanath Jayasuriya‘s 2,514 runs at the R. Premadasa Stadium to become highest run-scorer at a single venue in ODIs.

In 2011 he was named as one of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack‘s four Cricketers of the Year, and Wisden’s Test Player of the Year, becoming just the second Bangladeshi player to be awarded the accolade. He plays first-class cricket for Chittagong Division cricket team. He is the highest individual run scorer for Bangladesh in limited over formats and only Bangladeshi cricketer to score centuries in all three formats of the game. Tamim is also Bangladesh’s highest century maker in international matches with 17 centuries, combining all forms of cricket.

He is currently the highest run-scorer for Bangladesh in international cricket, including Test matches, ODIs and T20 internationals. He is the second Bangladeshi cricketer to score 3,000 runs in Tests and 5,000 runs in ODIs and also the first Bangladeshi cricketer to go past 1,000 runs in T20Is.

He was classified as an international elite player for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League in 2013.

Early years and background

Tamim Iqbal was born in Chittagong to Iqbal Khan and Nusrat khan Iqbal, in the port city of Chittagong. His paternal Khan family is a prestigious family in the city.Tamim Iqbal’s grandparents moved to Bangladesh from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1947(during partition).

Tamim Iqbal is the brother of Nafees Iqbal and the nephew of Akram Khan, who both played Test cricket for Bangladesh.

Tamim’s father, Iqbal, used to host small cricket tournaments to help his sons train and get better in cricket. His brother Nafees, a former national team cricketer, in an interview said, “Tamim was the more talented one. When he Tamim was 12 or 13, he hit 148 as the team chased 150”.

He married Ayesha Siddiqa in June 2013 with a grand ceremony held at Chittagong. Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was also present at the event. He had his first son Mohammed Arham Iqbal in February 28, 2016.

Domestic career

In late October 2012, Wellington Firebirds signed him for the New Zealand domestic HRV Cup, a T20 competition. Tamim was the first Bangladeshi to play in a New Zealand domestic league.

After the West Indies series 2011/12, Tamim went to New Zealand to join the Wellington Firebirds. In his month-long spell with the Firebirds, he scored 232 runs, including two half-centuries with an average of 38.66. He came back to Bangladesh in mid January to lead Duronto Rajshahi in second edition of BPL.

In July 2014, he played for the Rest of the World side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord’s.

International career

Early career

Tamim, a young talent of Bangladesh, who played in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka, was picked for the 2007 World Cup and played against India in the group stage of the competition, scoring 51 runs from 53 deliveries, helping his team to win the match. In December that year, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) granted Tamim a one-year grade C contract, one of 22 central contracts held by the Board at the time. Although he was still in the lowest tier of central contracts, it was an extension of his previous contract, which lasted six months.

On Bangladesh’s tour of the West Indies in July and August 2009, Tamim scored his maiden Test century against a West Indies team weakened by disputes between players and administrators, which resulted in seven players making their Test debuts in the match, His effort with the bat helped Bangladesh to a historic victory – their first against the West Indies in Tests, their first overseas Test victory and only their second Test win. He ended up with 128, and was named as the Man of the Match for his performance (he also scored 33 in the first innings). Speaking of his innings, Tamim said “It was a flat wicket, and if you concentrate hard and look to bat straight, it’s a good track to score on. I’m just 20 and have played only 11 Tests, I think there are a lot more to come”. Bangladesh went on to win the second Test, and in the process secured their first overseas series win. Iqbal was Bangladesh’s leading run-scorer in the series with 197 runs.

Bangladesh’s coach, Jamie Siddons, opined in January 2010 that Tamim had “the makings of a world-class opener”. On 25 January Tamim Iqbal scored 151 in a record partnership with Junaid Siddique against India.

Wisden Cricketer of the Year

During the first innings of the first Test against England in March 2010, Tamim scored 86 runs from 120 deliveries. In the process he became the fastest Bangladesh batsman to reach 1,000 Test runs in terms of innings, taking 19 to reach the landmark. He also became the third-youngest player in Test history (behind Sachin Tendulkar and compatriot Mohammad Ashraful) to reach 1,000 Test runs.

In May that year, Bangladesh toured England for two more Tests and three ODIs. Though his team lost 2-0, Tamim scored a century in each of the Tests. For his performances against England, Tamim was named one of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack‘s four Cricketers of the Year in 2011. In October he was also named Wisden’s Test Player of the Year, ahead of Graeme Swann and Virender Sehwag, who came second and third respectively. During the qualifying period for the award, Tamim scored 837 runs in seven Tests at an average of 59.78. It was just the second time a Bangladesh player had won the award, as Shakib Al Hasan was named the previous year. At the start of November, the BCB announced 16 central contracts. Tamim was one of six players at the top level.

Bangladesh vice-captain

In December 2010, Tamim replaced Mushfiqur Rahim as Bangladesh’s vice-captain. In the opening match of the 2011 World Cup he scored 70 against India in a losing cause. In the following match against Ireland he scored 44 off 43 balls, and took a catch. In the next game against the West Indies, Tamim was caught at the slips for a third-ball duck as Bangladesh folded for its lowest ODI score, 58 all out. The following game against England he scored a quick fire 38 to get his side off to another good start, with Bangladesh eventually winning by two wickets.

Tamim became only the second Bangladeshi to play county cricket in England (Shakib Al Hasan was the first) when he signed to play for Nottinghamshire in June 2011. He was recruited as a short-term replacement for Australian batsmen David Hussey, who was called up to the national squad. During his stay, Tamim played five matches, scoring 104 runs with a highest score of 47. Tamim, whose batting was described in the Nottingham Post as “solid if unspectacular”, remarked of his performance that “It could have been better, but it wasn’t too bad”. Even though he was playing in a foreign country, there was pressure from the media in Bangladesh for Tamim to perform – especially when Nottinghamshire faced Worcestershire who were fielding Shakib Al Hasan – with his exploits sometimes making the front pages.

When Bangladesh toured Zimbabwe in July 2011 for a single Test and five ODIs, they did so with the expectation of winning. Zimbabwe were returning from a six-year exile from Tests, although Bangladesh had not played in the format in more than 14 months. Despite claiming in a press confidence that Zimbabwe’s bowlers posed little threat, Tamim managed 58 runs in the Test as Bangladesh slid to defeat. Bangladesh lost the following ODI series against Zimbabwe 3-2. Bangladesh’s batsmen struggled early in the series, with Tamim managing 157 runs from five innings at an average of 31.40. In the aftermath of the series, Shakib and Tamim were sacked as captain and vice-captain, with a BCB representative citing their poor leadership.

Post vice-captain

West Indies toured in October, facing Bangladesh in a T20I, three ODIs and two Tests. Though Bangladesh lost the Test series 1-0, Tamim was his team’s leading run-scorer with 186 from four innings, including two half-centuries. The BCB founded the six-team Bangladesh Premier League in 2012, a twenty20 tournament to be held in February that year. The BCB made Tamim the ‘icon player’ for Chittagong Kings. However, his appearances were limited due to a groin injury and he played just two matches and scored eight runs.

In March 2012 Bangladesh hosted the Asia Cup. Tamim, who was recovering from typhoid, was initially dropped from the squad on the orders of BCB president Mustafa Kamal. Controversy ensued as Kamal had overridden the selection committee and eventually Tamim was re-added to the squad. He responded by striking four consecutive half-centuries, becoming the first Bangladesh player to achieve the feat in ODIs. Bangladesh progressed to the final against all expectations, although they lost to Pakistan by 2 runs. Later that month Tamim signed with Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League, but did not play a single match for the team. In April his top-level central contract with the BCB was renewed.

In late 2012 Bangladesh hosted West Indies, where Bangladesh won the ODI series, despite losing the T20 and the Test series. His highest score during the ODI and Test series was 58 and 72 respectively. Tamim’s best performance in the overall series was the unbeaten 88 in the lone T20 match, despite losing the match for 18 runs short.

In March 2013, when Bangladesh toured Sri Lanka, Tamim was not selected for the first Test but made 10 and 59 in the following Test. In the first ODI, Tamim became the first Bangladeshi to score a hundred against Sri Lanka with a 136-ball 112 before being run out. Bangladesh scored 259 in their innings, but Sri Lanka managed to chase their target down.

Post World Cup 2015

After the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Bangladesh played a home series against Pakistan. Tamim played a superb ODI series against Pakistan, where he scored two back-to-back match-winning centuries. Eventually, Bangladesh white-washed Pakistan for the first time in an ODI series and Tamim was named as the Man of the series. He further helped Bangladesh win first ever series against India and also a series win against South Africa. He scored an unbeaten 61 in the last ODI to help the team win the series 2-1. Later that year he played a major role in Bangladesh’s 3-0 series win over Zimbabwe. However, he withdrew from the 2016 Asia Cup due to his wife being pregnant.

Tamim was the highest run scorer at the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 held in India. This included an unbeaten 103* against Oman in the group stages of the tournament. He became the first Bangladesh cricketer to score an international T20I hundred whilst also surpassing the previous high score of 88* (also held by him). This subsequently helped Bangladesh qualify for the Super 10 stage. Tamim also led the highest number of 6’s hit chart at the tournament.

In August 2016, Tamim sustained a fracture on the little finger, which ruled him out from competitive cricket for around three weeks. This means that he could be uncertain for selection for the ODIs against Afghanistan. but he was selected for ODIs and scored 80 and 118 in the first and third ODIs against Afghanistan.

During the first ODI against Sri Lanka on 26 March 2017, Tamim became the first Bangladeshi to score 10,000 international runs.

Preparing for the 2017 Champions Trophy, Iqbal scored a hundred against Pakistan in a warm-up game at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Playing against England in the first of the league games at The Oval, he scored 128 off 142 balls taking the team’s total to 305, which was later chased down by the latter. He scored 95 off 114 balls in the next game against Australia, a match that ended without result. In the semi-final against India, he scored 70 off 82 balls in a losing cause, finishing the tournament with 293 runs.

In August 2017, he was named in a World XI side to play three Twenty20 International matches against Pakistan in the 2017 Independence Cup in Lahore.

on 23 January 2018 against Zimbabwe, Tamim became the first batsman for Bangladesh to reach 6,000 runs in ODIs. During this innings, Tamim also went past Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya‘s 2,514 runs at the R. Premadasa Stadium to become highest run-scorer at a single venue in ODIs.

In April 2018, he was one of ten cricketers to be awarded a central contract by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ahead of the 2018 season. In the same month, he was named in the Rest of the World XI squad for the one-off T20I against the West Indies, to be played at Lord’s on 31 May 2018.