What’s the story?
Opener Tamim Iqbal has urged the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan to emulate Indian legends such as Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. In an exclusive interview with Wisden India, the 28-year-old revealed his dream of leaving behind an India-like legacy for Bangladesh cricket along with the other two senior players.
Tamim felt, “The most important thing as a senior player is to leave a legacy for the team. In India, you have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly – they left a legacy for the Indian team to follow. They left a while ago, but people still talk about them. I want to be someone, along with Mushfiq (Mushfiqur Rahim) and Shakib (Al Hasan), to leave a legacy.”
“You need to perform well too, but you need to be someone others follow. You have to be a leader in the group. I can score 20 hundreds, but if I don’t act like a leader, it will all be forgotten. I need to lead the team as well. I don’t need to be a captain or a vice-captain to lead the team. It depends on how you conduct yourself and what you do in the dressing room.”
Alongside skipper Mushfiqur and star all-rounder Shakib, Tamim has overseen a rapid rise in Bangladesh cricket’s fortunes during the last five years or so. The trio have been instrumental in helping their country shed the minnows tag and emerge as a vibrant outfit capable of competing against the world’s best on an even keel.
The heart of the matter
Playing in their landmark 100th Test, Bangladesh managed to make the occasion memorable by beating Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. While their first 58 Tests produced only one victory, they won eight of their last 42 matches and continued their progress in the game’s traditional format.
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In ODIs, the Tigers seem to have come of age in recent times. With series wins at home against Pakistan, India and South Africa in 2015, they finally turned a corner and established themselves as one of the fastest growing sides in the present-day 50-overs format.
Hoping to sustain the team’s development across all forms of the game, Tamim implored Mushfiqur and Shakib to follow in the footsteps of Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly. The legendary troika helped lay the foundation for Indian cricket’s renaissance in the post-millennial era.
Not comparing the performances of the two sides, the opener yearned of leaving behind a legacy for the next generation of Bangladesh players.
During his 142-ball 127 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Dambulla, Tamim became the first Bangladeshi batsman and 75th overall to compile 10,000 runs across all three formats of the game combined. He will be looking to continue his impressive form in the second ODI at the same venue on Tuesday to try and help seal the series for his team.
Bangladesh owe their recent resurgence to the senior trio of Tamim, Mushfiqur and Shakib. Their next step in the development path will be seeking consistency in terms of results. As far as leaving behind a legacy is concerned, there cannot be better examples than Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly to pave the way for future generations.
Maybe 10-15 years down the line, the next batch of Bangladeshi players will be looking at Tamim and company for inspiration.