Tamim ready to play through pain barrier

25 May 2010 - 18:41 By Sapa-AFP

Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal expects to play against England in the first Test at Lord's starting here on Thursday despite struggling with a wrist injury that could yet require surgery.

Tamim first suffered the problem with his left wrist while fielding during Bangladesh's domestic Twenty20 event in 2009.

And it proved an issue in the recent World Twenty20 in the Caribbean where he sat out the second of Bangladesh's two losing matches, against Australia in Barbados, as a result of the injury.

During last week nine-wicket loss to the England Lions, Tamim made scores of 36 and 19 and those innings, added to the pull of playing a Test at Lord's, are set to see him in action this week at the 'home of cricket'.

"I've pushed myself five percent more than maybe I would have done on other grounds," Tamim told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday.

"I'm really excited to play at Lord's in a Test match. It will be a dream come true and I really want to play, because I don't know when I'll get another chance."

He added: "I went to a specialist yesterday (Monday), and he said 'you've got two choices. Either you play with taping and hope there won't be any harm, or you can have surgery that will take three months.'

"We have a very busy schedule so the team management told me to decide, so I am seeing another doctor today (Tuesday), and if he gives me the green signal, then I'll play the first match, and think about surgery when I am free."

England's tour of Bangladesh earlier this year resulted in two convincing wins in both Tests for the visitors but the 21-year-old Tamim still managed three fifties in four innings at the top of the order.

"Test cricket is most important, so I don't want to take any chances, but I'm batting okay in the nets and the pain is getting better day by day," Tamim said. "This is my third tour to England, and last time I played okay."

"I scored some runs against South Africa and the county teams, so there won't be any problem adjusting to the wickets. I am an international cricket player, so I need to adjust to every ground and every wicket."

Bangladesh's build-up has been disrupted by their captain, Shakin Al Hasan, contracting chicken pox early in the tour although he has since returned to training and is expected to play at Lord's.

"We were not allowed to go anywhere near him (last week), he was staying alone, and only the guys who'd had chicken pox before were allowed to go and see him," Tamim said.

"I asked my mother if I'd ever had chicken pox and she said I hadn't, but then I did a test and it said that I had had, which was funny."

Bangladesh have won just three out of their 66 Tests and have never beaten England in a five-day game but Tamim said: "We know we are an improving side, we are doing okay in international games, but we are just not winning games. "We've got to prove to the world we can play in any conditions."