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Liton to helm Bangladesh team after shock Tamim resignation

CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH (AFP) – Bangladesh named Liton Das captain for the remainder of its one-day international series against Afghanistan, following this week’s shock resignation of veteran opener Tamim Iqbal.

Tamim broke down crying while announcing his immediate retirement from international cricket on Thursday, the day after he led Bangladesh in a 17-run defeat in the rain-hit first match of the series.

His emotional press conference in Chittagong followed scathing criticism from Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan, who called Tamim’s professionalism into question for playing the match despite admitting he was not 100 per cent fit.

Liton, who led Bangladesh to a record 546-run win in the one-off Test match against Afghanistan in June, said the team was focused on the future as they seek to level the series today.

“It is difficult to say whether we will miss him. If I am injured today, the team will not miss me,” Liton told reporters.

“Going forward, newcomers will keep coming. Someday we will also go,” he added.

“Since he is not there, we should not talk much about that topic.”

But the wicketkeeper-batsman did admit that Tamim’s decision took the team by surprise.

“None of us could realise this decision was coming,” he said. “He gave the Bangladesh team a lot for so many years and led the team. I and all our teammates respect his decision,” he said.

The third and final match of the series will also be held in Chittagong on July 11.

Bangladesh won both its prior ODI series at home against Afghanistan by a 2-1 margin.

Afghanistan conclude their tour with two Twenty20 matches in Sylhet on July 14 and 16.

FROM LEFT: Tamim Iqbal; and Liton Das. PHOTOS: AFP