Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s veteran hitter, has been ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand due to a thumb injury he acquired while playing in the Everest Premier League in September-October. The Tigers’ left-hander hasn’t played international cricket in more than four months. Tamim’s availability for the Tests against the Kiwis has been confirmed by Debashish Chowdhury, the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s head physician. According to Chowdhury, the 32-year-old will need another month to get back in shape.

“He (Tamim) spoke with the doctor, who suggested that he take a month off even if he won’t need surgery. Debashish was quoted as saying to Cricbuzz, “In that case, he’ll miss the New Zealand tour.”

The first Test of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand is set to begin on Saturday, January 1 at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the second Test starting on Sunday, January 9.

Earlier, the Chattogram native was ruled out of Bangladesh’s first Test against Pakistan, which begins on Friday, November 26 at Chattogram’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. He will almost certainly miss the second Test against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka now that he has been ruled out of the New Zealand series.

Tamim is Bangladesh’s all-time highest run scorer in Test cricket, with 4788 runs, nine hundreds, and 31 half-centuries since making his debut in 2008. He also hit a Test century against England at Lord’s Cricket Ground in 2010.

In addition to Tamim, the Tigers are dealing with an injury to all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. Shakib, who was born in Khulna, was forced to miss the three-match T20I series against Pakistan owing to a hamstring injury after being ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2021.