Tamim’s T20 career began at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi, Kenya on 1 September, 2007 in what was Bangladesh’s second ever T20 match.

In his near 15-year T20I career, Tamim has played 74 matches for Bangladesh in which he has scored 1701 runs at an average of 24.65 and strike rate of 117.47.

Tamim is Bangladesh’s first and so far only centurion in the format and also has seven half-centuries to his name.

Though Tamim has just retired from the format, he last featured in a T20 match for Bangladesh back in March of 2020 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

Tamim scored 41 off 33 deliveries in that game, helping the Tigers register a 48-run victory.

No one present at the venue, perhaps even Tamim, knew that this was going to be the left-hander’s final T20 match for Bangladesh.

Tamim becomes the second player after Mahmudullah from Bangladesh cricket’s ‘Fab Four’ to put up his boots in one format of the game.

Mahmudullah had earlier retired from Tests in 2021 right after scoring a career best 150 in his comeback Test against Zimbabwe.

Mahmudullah was dropped from the Test team and asked by the management to only focus on white-ball cricket.

18 months after getting axed from the Test team, Mahmudullah was picked for the Harare Test and in his comeback match he scored a century.

The innings could’ve provided a second wind to his Test career. But the all-rounder chose to end his Test career on a high and without informing the cricket board first, told his teammates during the Test that he will retire from the format after the match.

The circumstances surrounding Tamim’s retirement is starkly different.

Tamim was getting a lot of flak from the fans in the latter stage of his T20I career for his cautious approach while opening the innings and critics regarded his batting approach outdated in modern T20 cricket.

But the management never lost faith in him as he continued to open the innings for Bangladesh quite regularly, up until 2020.

Since cricket’s resumption after the Covid-19 induced sabbatical, Tamim disappeared from the T20 format.

Tamim’s unwillingness to play T20Is first came to surface when he returned home from New Zealand without taking part in the T20 series in March-April of 2021.

Next he skipped series against Zimbabwe in July. Tamim then made a shock announcement of skipping the T20 World Cup to give other openers a chance to play in the tournament.

After the underwhelming performance of the Tigers in the World Cup, Tamim was expected to once again return to the T20I fold.

But the left-hander from Chattogram had one foot out the door by that time which he made evidently clear in January this year, when he announced a six-month leave from T20Is.

Tamim was also confident that after six months, his absence will no longer be felt. His hope hasn’t come to fruition yet as Bangladesh is still searching for Liton Das’s opening partner in the format.

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan publicly stated that he had personally asked Tamim multiple times to return to the T20 side. But the southpaw stayed firm in his stance.

The door was wide open for Tamim to come back into the T20 side or at least end his T20I career on the field by taking part in a series or playing in the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

But the 33-year-old chose to announce his retirement thousands of miles away from Bangladesh. He unceremoniously brought his T20I career to a close with a Facebook post after leading Bangladesh to a 3-0 series sweep in ODIs against West Indies in Guyana.

Tamim has been a trailblazer in Bangladesh cricket in more than one ways. Even while retiring from the T20Is, Tamim managed to do something that very few top Bangladeshi cricketers have managed to do, call it quits on their own terms.

Tamim still is an important part of the Test and ODI team, leading the team in the 50-over format and being the country’s highest run-getter in both formats.

Bangladesh still has a lot to gain from Tamim Iqbal the batsman and the leader. But his T20I chapter is now forever closed.