Bangladesh Cricket Board on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief as opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and pace bowler Rubel Hossain finally secured the visa of United Arab Emirates, which paved the way for their participation in the forthcoming Asia Cup from the start.
Rubel left Dhaka at 7:00pm while Tamim, who had to wait until late evening for his visa, was scheduled to leave home at 1:00am. Team manager Khaled Mahmud and chief selector Minhajul Abedin, however, were kept waiting for their visa till the report was filed.
The rest of team members travelled to UAE on Sunday.
The participation of Tamim and Rubel in Saturday’s opening match against Sri Lanka was thrown into doubt after the organisers of the event, the Asian Cricket Council, was unable to arrange their visa for timely.
The BCB officials appeared hapless during the entire saga as the matter was not in their hands completely.
‘It was entirely a matter of another country,’ BCB chief executive officer Nizam Uddin Chowdhury told reporters in Mirpur.
‘The UAE embassy holds the authorities for issuing visa and the Asian Cricket Council is in regular touch with them. Every country follows certain procedures for visa processing. Now if the process is delayed very little can be done,’ he said.
Tamim and Rubel, however, did not waste their time completely waiting for the mercy of UAE visa officials.
Both of them trained individually at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to keep them ready for the tournament, which would run from September 15 to 28 in UAE.
This was Tamim’s first training session in a while as he had just returned from a personal trip in Singapore.
While in Singapore Tamim had complained of pain in his finger and underwent an x-ray, which nevertheless did not reveal any significant problem.
Tamim said he batted in the nets without any trouble, which gave him confidence about playing from start of the tournament.
‘I am hoping that I will be able to play from the first match,’ Tamim told reporters on the sideline of his training session at Mirpur.
‘I am more concerned about my practice as it’s been a long time since I batted,’
‘As I did not know about the exact condition of my injured finger I needed this net and it looked to be okay,’ he said.
Bangladesh are drawn in Pool B along with Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the six-nation tournament, which also featured India, Pakistan and qualifiers Hong Kong.
The Tigers will play against Sri Lanka in the opening match in Dubai before they face Afghanistan on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.
Two teams from each group will progress into the next round.