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Iqbal out of Zim cricket tour


BANGLADESH have been dealt a blow ahead of their cricket tour of Zimbabwe next month after opening batsman Tamim Iqbal was diagnosed with a fractured thumb, ruling him out of the game for a minimum of four weeks.


Iqbal, who injured his right thumb while fielding in the second innings of the first one-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka in Hambantota, returned to Bangladesh yesterday morning and was reportedly taken to a city hospital straight from the airport.

The fracture was confirmed following a scan. Iqbal’s injury has effectively ruled the left-hander out of the first Test which begins on April 17 at Harare Sports Club.

There is, however, the possibility of him featuring in the second Test and the limited overs series which begins on May 3.

“The reports indicate a fracture on his right thumb. There is, however, no displacement, so a conservative approach will be followed to heal the injury,” Debasish Chowdhury, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) sports physician was quoted in the Bangladesh media yesterday.

“The thumb obviously plays a pivotal role for the hand, so our approach will be an extremely cautious one. If it was one of the other fingers we could have tried to accelerate the rehabilitation process, but in this case he’ll be out for four to six weeks.” he added.

Debasish added that the rehabilitation process for the batsman’s thumb would begin after three weeks.

The Bangladesh national selectors are yet to decide the extent of Iqbal’s participation in the Zimbabwe tour.

“It’s too early to comment on the issue, however, at the current stage it seems as though he may not be fit for the first Test in Zimbabwe. We will discuss the matter,” said chief selector Akram Khan.

Bangladesh have had some bad luck with injuries in recent weeks, losing Enamul Haque Jr, Mashrafe Mortaza, Naeem Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shahriar Nafees and Tamim Iqbal, at some point during the Sri Lanka tour.

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been out of the Bangladesh setup since November 2012 after he suffered a stress fracture to his shin, but is however confident he will be fit for his side’s tour of Zimbabwe.

“Hopefully, I will be fit and available before the tour of Zimbabwe,” Shakib told Cricinfo.

“As far as my cricketing fitness is concerned, I am still getting there as I haven’t yet started batting or bowling.”

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe cricket team is expected in the country today after a disastrous month-long tour of the West Indies.

The Brendan Taylor-captained side is expected to quickly regroup ahead of the Bangladesh tour which will give them a chance to redeem themselves in front of home fans.

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