26-Sep-2017

Bangladesh cricket star leaves UK after family fall victim to racial abuse

LONDON July 13: A Bangladeshi cricket star has left England within a week of arriving after reports that ​his family were the victims of racial abuse, Telegraph newspaper reported.
 
Tamim Iqbal, 28, signed last week for an eight-match stint by Essex County Cricket Club, and played his first match with the club the following day as opening batsman.
 
But just days after arriving for the season, he abruptly returned to Bangladesh with his wife and one-year-old baby, after insults were allegedly hurled at his family.
 
“There was an incident involving insults being thrown at him and his family, and led to him going back home,” a source close to Bangladesh Cricket Board told the Daily Telegraph, adding that the insults were racially motivated.
 
The source added that reports in Bangladeshi newspapers that his wife had been subject to an acid attack was not true.
 
Tamim's family was reportedly uneasy about the environment in London even before his arrival in England.
 
The cricketer told Essex County Cricket Club earlier this week about the altercation and asked that his contract be terminated so the family could return to Bangladesh. 
 
The Club immediately agreed to his request, according to reports. Iqbal, who is the first Bangladeshi to score 10,000 international runs making him Bangladesh's highest runscorer, played down the incident.
 
 He wrote on Facebook that England is one of his “favourite places” and denied that that he had been targeted by a hate crime. 
 
“I want all my fans and well-wishers to know that I cut short my season with Essex to come back home early for personal reasons,” he said.
 
 “Some media reported that we were the target of attempted hate crime. This is really not true. England is one my of [sic] favorite places to play cricket and Essex have been entirely gracious even though I had to leave early.
 
 “I thank all my fans and well-wishers for their concern and messages and look forward to going back to England for future matches.”  
 
A spokesman for Essex County Cricket Club announced on Tuesday that Mr Iqbal had “left with immediate effect due to personal reasons”.  The spokesman added:
 
“We wish him all the best and it would be appreciated if Tamim’s privacy is respected during this time.”