Bangladesh’s Tamim denies rift with Shakib

DHAKA (Agencies): Bangladesh one-day international captain Tamim Iqbal denied on Sunday there was a schism in the team and insisted his relationship with leading all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was “very normal”. “Our team environment has been good for a number of years. A happy dressing room allows one to achieve the type of results that you are seeing,” Tamim told reporters at a news conference in Dhaka. “I think everything is very normal.” The top-order batsman’s comments came after Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan suggested to website Cricbuzz that the environment in the dressing room was not “healthy”. “The biggest problem for Bangladesh cricket at the moment is this grouping, and that is the reality. I don’t have a problem with anything else,” Nazmul told the website. The BCB chief said he had tried to address a factional dispute between Shakib and Tamim but found it difficult. “It’s not that I have not tried to sort it out. I have spoken with both of them, and I felt that it is not easy to settle the issues at the moment,” he said. Tamim and Shakib have been teammates since their formative days in the mid-2000s and have at times been considered close friends. Tamim captains the Bangladesh ODI side, while Shakib is at the helm of the Test and Twenty20 international teams. Tamim said performance on the pitch was what mattered. “The important thing when Shakib and I put on the Bangladesh jersey is whether we are giving our best and whether we are helping each other. When we are leading the teams, nothing else matters,” he said at the media briefing ahead of the three-match ODI series against England. “Whatever anyone is saying, whether we have coffee together, these things don’t matter.” Tamim will lead Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series against England next week and said he expected to play on “true wickets” – although the hosts generally offer visiting sides low and slow pitches, especially those from outside the sub-continent. “We have been discussing playing better on true wickets. You will see a reflection of our thinking,” he said.