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Taskin Ahmed on missing team bus for India game: 'Not as if they didn't pick me because I arrived late'

Bangladesh vice-captain says he was left out on the day for reasons of team combination

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
02-Jul-2024
Taskin Ahmed roars in delight, Bangladesh vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024, New York, June 10, 2024

Taskin Ahmed picked up eight wickets in six games at the 2024 T20 World Cup  •  Getty Images

Bangladesh vice-captain Taskin Ahmed has admitted that he missed the team bus on the morning of their Super Eight game against India in the T20 World Cup 2024 in North Sound, but said that was not the reason he did not play the game. He was left out for team combination reasons, Taskin said.
"I was a little late, but I reached at the ground before the toss," Taskin told Dhaka-based newspaper Ajker Patrika. "I arrived at the ground around 30-40 minutes before the toss. I missed the team bus. The bus left the hotel at 8.35am. I left for the ground at 8.43am. I almost reached the ground with the bus. It is not as if they didn't pick me because I arrived late. I wasn't going to play anyway."
Bangladesh had replaced Taskin with Jaker Ali for the game, with Mahedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan opening the bowling. Tamim Iqbal, in his capacity as expert on ESPNcricinfo TimeOut, had said then he was "very surprised" by the move to leave Taskin out. Taskin returned to the line-up for Bangladesh's next game, against Afghanistan on June 24.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that there was no fine levied on Taskin for the incident. Shakib said on Tuesday that the matter ended after Taskin apologised, though he did say the incident made it "difficult" to select him for the India game.
"The bus usually leaves at a certain time. It is the rule that the team bus doesn't wait for anyone," Shakib told reporters on Tuesday. "If by chance someone misses the bus, they can arrive in the managers' car or a taxi.
"West Indies is a difficult place for transport. He arrived 5-10 minutes before the toss, so naturally it was difficult for the team management to select him. It was also a difficult situation for the player. Taskin apologised to the team, and everyone took it very normally. It was an unintentional mistake. It ended there."
The incident also came up when BCB president Nazmul Hassan addressed a press conference following a board meeting on Tuesday. "When I saw that Taskin wasn't in the XI, I called [team manager] Rabeed [Imam], who told me that Taskin missed the team bus," Hassan said. "But [Rabeed said that] he is now in the field, he arrived a bit late.
"I will read the report from the concerned department."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84