Inside story of ‘Iqbal’ brothers in Bangladesh cricket
Tamim Iqbal and Nafees Iqbal are the most popular among the ‘two brothers’ stories in Bangladesh cricket. Tamim was known as ‘Nafees’s younger brother’ when he joined the national team. After that, when Tamim made his identity with brighter performance, Nafees’s name went into hiding. That’s like- ‘Beginning of Tamim and end of Nafees.’
Nafees is still involved in cricket but not as a player. Nafees gave more importance to his younger brother Tamim than his own career. There was no scarcity in the family ever but Nafees had genuine affection for his brother. As Tamim grew up as a cricketer, he kept a watchful eye on Tamim so that he would never fall short. Nafees used to save money for Tamim without even eating properly!
Former national team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza made this remarks in a recent chat with Tamim on Facebook. He told Tamim,
“Your elder brother (Nafees Iqbal) has contributed the most to your career so far. The sacrifices your brother made for you are incredible. Your father was a wonderful man, he died. Your mother has taken care of the family with your sister. You had uncles, but whatever you say, I would say your older brother contributed a lot.”
In between Mashrafe’s words, Tamim said, “Yes, his contribution cannot be concluded. You have told me before that how brother used to save money without eating.”
Mashrafe became a little emotional. He kept saying, “You don’t know what your brother did for you. We know, we’re with him. He just ate one french burger Brother, one french burger. I told him one day that if you don’t look at the body, how will you live and how will you play. These are funny stories, there was Aftab.”
However, Mashrafe later understood why Nafees used to save money without spending it. He said, “Later I realized that he was doing everything for you (Tamim Iqbal). You can play with a good bat or do something good. I’m telling you, I told him too, he had the opportunity to be one of the best Test players in Bangladesh. I still say, could not be. But you got it all.”