November 22, 2011, 03:28 PM
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"Saeed Ajmal's the Dangerman" : Tamim Iqbal...(Pak Passion Exclusive Interview)
PakPassion presents an exclusive interview with exciting young Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal.
22 year old Tamim already has 7 centuries and 29 half centuries in International cricket. The left-hander is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in Bangladesh cricket and is one of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball in the world.
A cricketer that fans around the world love to watch and someone I'm sure the Pakistani bowlers will be looking to dismiss early in the upcoming series in Bangladesh.
PakPassion.net: You are regarded as one of the most exciting talents in world cricket. Your style of batting is admired by many. You must be a proud man?
Tamim Iqbal: I'm really pleased and proud with how things have gone so far in my career. I thank God that I have the opportunity to play cricket at this level and for the fans for appreciating me.
PakPassion.net: You made your International debut 4 years ago, how do you feel you have developed, changed and matured as a batsman since your debut?
Tamim IqbalIt's been a learning experience. I'm still learning a lot of things and developing my batting. I really hope that I have a long career ahead of me and I'm sure I am a much better batsman than I was when I first came into International cricket. I believe I still have a lot of things to learn and I am confident that I will get better with more exposure in International cricket against the best opposition.
PakPassion.net: You've played some hugely exciting innings in the 4 years that you have represented Bangladesh. Which do you feel has been your best innings?
Tamim Iqbal That would have to be the test innings at Lords where I made a century against England. Lords is such a historical ground with great tradition and to make a century at that ground was just fantastic. It was a record breaking innings as I was the first Bangladeshi to score a century at Lords and the experience will always stay with me forever.
PakPassion.net: You've obviously faced a number of great bowlers in International cricket, who would you say has been the pick of the bunch?
Tamim Iqbal: Morne Morkel has been the toughest to face. He's a very difficult bowler to bat against. His height, and the bounce he can extract fom a length and in addition he rarely gives you any freebies as a batsman.
PakPassion.net: With the influx of Twenty20 cricket, there are a lot of concerns about the future of test cricket. Your thoughts about the future of Test cricket?
Tamim Iqbal: Test cricket is the main game, it's the real deal. This format of cricket tests you thoroughly and every cricketer has the dream to represent his country in Test cricket. There is no rival to test cricket.
PakPassion.net: Bangladesh has produced some vey good cricketers like yourself, Shakib al Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Moshrafe Mortaza etc but there seems to be a distinct lack of consistency in the team's performance. What do you think Bangladesh needs to do to become more consistent in International cricket?
Tamim Iqbal: Firstly, we need to develop our domestic cricket. Secondly we need to play more International cricket and get more exposure at the highest level of cricket. If you are playing cricket at the highest level you are going to improve. We really need to ensure that we are playing more International cricket.
PakPassion.net: Despite the required changes and improvements, Bangladesh continues to produce some very good young cricketers?
Tamim Iqbal: The Bangladesh Cricket Board is working very hard no doubt and I'm sure that we will continue to produce good cricketers. I think in a few years down the line we can perform well in International cricket and become more competitive as the youngsters that are being developed and will no doubt have forged their way into the international arena.
PakPassion.net: You've played under several captains already for your country. Now there's been another change of skipper. What can we expect from Mushfiqur Rahim as skipper?
Tamim Iqbal: I've played under Mushfiqur in the under 19s and I know him very well. He knows what he needs to do as skipper and what he needs to bring to the team. He's started well and is doing a good job, but it's too early to say as he has just skippered in the one series. Let's see how it goes and I wish him all the very best for a successful stint as captain and I'm sure he will do very well.
PakPassion.net: Your next series is a home series against Pakistan. Your thoughts on the challenge of Pakistan?
Tamim Iqbal: Yes, it's going to be a very tough and challenging series for us because the Pakistanis are playing some very good cricket and are in great form. Their batsmen and bowlers are in top form and it promises to be a difficult series for us.
PakPassion.net: Who do you see as the dangermen in the Pakistani side?
Tamim Iqbal: Saeed Ajmal without a doubt. I've only faced him for one delivery and that was in County Cricket when I was playing for Nottinghamshire and he was representing Worcestershire. I scored a single and was happy to be at the other end. He's a very good bowler and is in great form at the moment. It's going to be a real challenge to face the Pakistani bowlers in the upcoming series, especially Saeed Ajmal. He's a very experienced bowler who has a lot of varieties and he will certainly be someone that my colleagues and I will have to watch carefully.
PakPassion.net: How was your County Cricket stint at Nottinghamshire last season?
Tamim Iqbal: I loved it. It was a childhood dream to get the chance to play County cricket. I'd always heard about the benefits of playing County cricket and looked at some of the names that have featured in it over the years like Sachin Tendulkar and really wanted an opportunity to try myself out in that format. It was a great experience and one that I would love to try again if given the opportunity.
Ideally a full season in county cricket can really develop you as a cricketer - you can learn so much and if you can perform well in County cricket that really sets you up nicely to take that experience into International cricket. Playing in differing conditions - bowler friendly conditions - was an excellent experience.
PakPassion.net: Twenty20 cricket seems to be the priority for some modern day cricketers ahead of other formats. Some big names are missing from International cricket due to this?
Tamim Iqbal: I can't really comment on why some individuals are not playing International cricket and instead playing in Twenty20 competitions, but will say that Twenty over cricket is fun and there's a lot of enjoyment for the crowd with lots of boundaries. I really enjoy playing twenty over cricket as it suits my style of batting but as I said earlier Test cricket is the ultimate version of cricket.
PakPassion.net: There's a possibility of an IPL style Twenty20 league in Bangladesh in future, with a number of the big names playing in this competition. Exciting times?
Tamim Iqbal: Yes there are some rumours that I am hearing about this tournament and if the competition happens then I'm sure it will be great for Bangladesh cricket and something that I am looking forward to playing in. It will give Bangladesh cricket good exposure and if it happens will attract the best players from around the world. It will also no doubt be a fantastic spectacle for the cricket mad Bangladeshi public.
PakPassion.net: Many thanks for your time and best of luck for the future.
Tamim Iqbal: My pleasure.
Time to unleash Shabbir Rahman Roman!!!