Former Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza insisted Tamim Iqbal should return to the national team with 100 percent fitness as he needs to perform to speak on his behalf.
Tamim, the ODI captain of the team, has been in London at this moment for the treatment of his back injury. It is yet to be known whether he would be in the training camp for the Asia Cup, which is set to start on July 30, reports BSS.
"I think Tamim should come with fully fitness. At the same time there should be such mental preparation that he is a performer, the performance will speak for him," Mashrafe told reporters after attending in a convocation of an educational institution in the capital on Wednesday.
He advised Tamim to be more mentally strong without worrying about who is by his side or not.
"He has to be mentally strong. The age Tamim is at, it's time to perform. When he brings the country something really good, then he will leave."
"The coach is on his side, the cricket board is on his side or we are on his side but we don't expect a cricketer like him to care about who is on his side. He is a performer and he needs to perform. Everything will fall in apiece automatically, if he performs."
Tamim retired from the International cricket in the middle of the Afghanistan series, but reversed the decision after meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina within 28 hours. Mashrafe played a role in it. He still believes that Tamim has the potential to give more to the country.
"He (Tamim) has scored over 15,000 runs, he has done a lot for the country and it is true. But at the end of the day, no one will remember it if he doesn't perform."
"He has been suffering from injury and due to the injury he isn't performing. He needs to get over his injury. As I said, it's about doing the right things. He should be thinking of his injury. If he returns fit, I am sure he will score automatically and return to his old aura," Mashrafe remarked.
While meeting with Prime Minister, Tamim Iqbal proposed Mashrafe to be the mentor of the team during the World Cup but the former skipper said that he does not know what the mentor role entails.
He also wondered why Tamim desired such a thing when practically mentor has nothing to do for the national team.
"'What is the role of the mentor? What is the benefit of the team having a mentor," Mashrafe raised a questioned.
"What's the use of a mentor? Can you tell me? I do not know why he (Tamim) wants! I don't know what a mentor does. If such a situation arises in the future, something like that happens, then you can stand up and say something."
Earlier, in a TV show during the 2021 T20 World Cup, Tamim offered Mashrafe to be mentor, saying "If I am the captain in 2023 World Cup and if the board allows, I want you (Mashrafe) as a mentor.'
Even then, Mashrafe replied, 'I can't say these things now. It will be understood when the time comes.
But if the Prime Minister wants him to be the mentor, he will have to accept, Mashrafe added.
"It will be a different case if our honourable Prime Minister wants to me to be the mentor. If she wants, there is no opportunity to argue about that," Mashrafe said.
"No one knows what will be the situation tomorrow. If a situation arises then let's see. Right now, it's important that the team stays well and plays well. That's what we all hope for."