Bangladeshi cricketer Tamim Iqbal has firmly denied reports that his premature exit from Essex was as the result of an attempted acid attack.
The opening batsman and former Tigers captain's departure from Essex was confirmed on Tuesday (11 July), just four days and one match after he signed on for an eight-game stint in the Natwest T20 Blast. The county said the player's departure was due to "personal reasons" and asked for his privacy was respected at this time.
A subsequent newspaper report from Bangladesh, citing an unnamed source close to the country's cricket board (BCB), claimed that Tamim was out dining with his family on Monday night when they were chased by "some miscreants" who attempted to throw acid at wife Ayesha Siddiqa, who wears a hijab.
The couple's one-year-old son was also said to be present.
Tamim has since taken to social media to strenuously deny those claims, however, repeating that his return to Bangladesh was due to unspecified personal reasons.
"I want all my fans and well wishers to know that I cut short my season with Essex to come back home early for personal reasons," he wrote in a post on his official Facebook page. "Some media reported that we were the target of attempted hate crime. This is really not true.
"England is one my of favorite places to play cricket and Essex have been entirely gracious even though I had to leave early. I thank all my fans and well wishers for their concern and messages and look forward to going back to England for future matches."
Tamim scored seven runs from as many balls on his one and only appearance for the Eagles in a seven-wicket defeat to the Kent Spitfires in Beckenham on Sunday. The 28-year-old is a regular in all forms for Bangladesh and played in the recent ICC Champions Trophy in England as his side reached the semi-finals.