In awe of Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his fitness revolution within the Indian cricket team, newly-appointed Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal admitted that it has had a positive impact on their team.
The veteran batsman, who has scored over 10000 runs across formats in his 13-year-long career, said that it took a bit of time for the current Bangladesh side to realise the importance of fitness. He too admitted that he has been feeling good after embracing a solid fitness regime.
"I must say this. This is not because I am talking to an Indian commentator, who is an ex-cricketer. I think because India is our neighbour country, we follow a lot of things about what's happening in India. As soon as India started to change regarding fitness, that impacted Bangladesh the most," Iqbal told Sanjay Manjrekar for ESPNCricinfo's Videocast.
"I have no shame to tell you this, I think this should be out, when I used to see Virat Kohli, 2-3 years back, doing all those gym things and running around, I used to be ashamed of myself. Honestly, I used to be ashamed of myself.
"I used to think 'see this is a guy who is probably my age doing kind of things, training so much for success. Me, maybe is not doing half of what he is doing. At least, if I can't match his level, try to follow his path. Maybe I can reach 50-60 percent."
Earlier last month, Tamim had expressed his admiration for Kohli's fitness regime discipline saying that the latter has now become a fitness idol for budding cricketers across the globe.
During a Facebook live session with Virat, Tamim said that there was a time when cricketers used to look up to athletes of different sport to find inspiration for maintaining fitness, but he now is proud to say that cricket fraternity now has its own idol.
"There were times when we honestly looked up to different athletes from different sports regarding how fit they are or how disciplined they are. But now I can proudly say that we have our own, from our cricketing family which is you.
"Thank you very much for entertaining us," Tamim said.