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Tamim assures Bangladesh won't be distracted by Malinga's swansong
Bangladesh News

Tamim assures Bangladesh won't be distracted by Malinga's swansong

Stand-in Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal on Thursday spoke highly about Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga and stressed that the fast bowler's farewell match would not play on the minds of his team.

"I think he is a great ambassador of this game," Tamim shared his views with the reporters ahead of the first ODI, saying further that Malinga's achievements were "extraordinary".

"Tomorrow is a special game for him. But one thing is for sure -- when we play against him we will not keep it in our head that it will be his last match and will try to play as hard as possible."

Earlier this week, Malinga had announced he would be retiring from the 50-over format after the opening game of the three-match series against Bangladesh while he would be keen on prolonging his T20I career.

'My captaincy was a last-minute call'

It will be a test of Tamim's leadership as he will make his debut as the 14th captain for Bangladesh in the absence of the injured Mashrafe Mortaza.

He will have to spearhead a different side from the one that played in the World Cup as Mohammad Saifuddin is unavailable due to a nagging back injury.

Shakib Al Hasan, who is in good nick, and Liton Das have also opted out of the series which presents a fantastic opportunity for the replacements to make a mark.

On the sudden call to captaincy, Tamim said: "My captaincy was a last-minute call because our regular captain got injured the night before we traveled. But whatever the opportunity I get, I always try to make the best use of it."

The next two ODIs are scheduled at the same venue (Colombo) on July 28 and 31.