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Tamim: 'It takes a very big heart to endure what Shakib is going through'

Bangladesh's ODI captain was all praise for the allrounder's decision to stay back for the third ODI in the face of a family emergency

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Shakib Al Hasan pushes forward, South Africa vs Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Centurion, March 18, 2022

Shakib Al Hasan returned to Bangladesh on Wednesday evening, shortly after Bangladesh won the third ODI  •  AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal has praised Shakib Al Hasan for showing "big heart" by staying back in South Africa and playing the third ODI despite several members of his family back home being in hospital.
Shakib took the evening flight out of Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, shortly after Bangladesh clinched the ODI series 2-1 in Centurion. He is scheduled to land in Dhaka on Thursday. Four members of his family including his two children, his mother and mother-in-law are all in hospital with different ailments.
"It takes a very big heart to endure what Shakib is going through," Tamim said. "Not many people could have done it. There would be nothing wrong to want to be with one's family in such a situation. For me his performance wasn't important. But the dedication that he showed, it was the most important thing. I am telling you. Four or five members of his family are in the hospital. He is still playing and smiling with the team. It takes a big heart."
Shakib initially planned to miss the third ODI and fly home early after hearing about the seriousness of his family's situation. But after his air ticket was confirmed, Shakib changed his mind and stayed back to play the decider.
Shakib took two wickets and later hit the winning runs as Bangladesh won with 141 balls to spare.
The allrounder is reportedly in talks with the Bangladesh team management for a possible return to South Africa in time for the second Test. The first Test of the two-match series is scheduled to run from March 31 to April 4 in Durban, and the second from April 7 to 11 in Port Elizabeth.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84