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DHAKA: Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said Thursday he would prolong his break from Twenty20 internationals for at least another six months, adding to speculation over his future in the short format.

Tamim is one of Bangladesh's greatest batting assets and has captained the one-day international side for the past two years.

But he has not played a 20-over international since March 2020 and withdrew his name from last year's World Cup to give younger players an opportunity.

Bangladesh failed to win at the tournament and also suffered a clean-sweep series loss against Pakistan at home in November.

The team's top-order struggles have sparked calls for Tamim's return, but he made clear on Thursday that his priorities were elsewhere.

"There were a few discussions over my T20 career in the last few days," Tamim, 32, told reporters in Chittagong.

"They want me to continue T20 cricket until the World Cup (starting October), but I said I am not going to think T20 cricket in the next few months," he added.

"Hopefully, young players will play so good in the next six months that I won't be needed."

Tamim is playing in the domestic Bangladesh Premier League competition, where he has shown glimpses of his past T20 form, hitting two fifties in the first four matches for Dhaka.

Tamim said he needed to be selective with international engagements to allow himself an extended one-day and Test career.

"I have still four to five years left," he said. "If I can stay fit I want to play another four or five years."

Bangladesh are scheduled to play two T20s against Afghanistan at home next month and three away against West Indies in June.

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