• Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
  • Last Update : 04:04 am

Ashraful aims national team return after ban lift

  • Published at 09:37 pm August 10th, 2018
Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Mohammad Ashraful is now eligible to be selected for the national team and his ban terms will be observed this Monday

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful’s ban will be lifted Monday and the once talented batsman still has the dream of donning the national colours again. 

Initially, Ashraful was slapped with an eight-year ban by the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 anti-corruption tribunal in July 2014. 

But in September of that year, it was reduced to five years after he appealed to the disciplinary committee chairman. 

He confessed to his guilt before being banned and the five-year ban was dated from August 13, 2013. 

His ban was partially lifted on August 13, 2016 allowing him to resume playing at domestic level, after which he has played two seasons so far. 

Ashraful is now eligible to be selected for the national team and his ban terms will be observed this Monday. 

And the right hander has expressed his desire to come back in the Tigers squad before retiring from cricket in the cricket-based portal ESPNcricinfo.  

"I have been waiting for August 13, 2018 for a long time now," Ashraful told ESPNcricinfo. "It has been more than five years since the day I admitted my involvement. Although I have played domestic cricket in the last two seasons, there is now nothing preventing me from being eligible for national selection. Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement."

There will of course be questions over Ashraful’s fitness and whether it will be up to the standards of the national team’s fitness, which has improved quite a bit over the last half-a-decade. 

Ashraful seems to be aware of that and is looking to prepare himself accordingly. 

"Now I can be considered for selection through my performance. I have already gone through a month-long training programme and after August 15, I will go into pre-season training leading into the upcoming season's National Cricket League," he adds.

Ashraful has had a prolific season so far in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League for Kalabagan Krira Chakra, scoring 665 runs at an average of 66.5, a strike-rate of 74.1 and a high-score of 127. 

He also enjoyed a decent 2017/18 NCL season playing for Dhaka Metropolis where he scored 264 runs at an average of 37.7 in seven innings and a high score of 104.

However, his start was a difficult one in the NCL as in the 2016/17 season he scored just 123 runs in six innings at a paltry average of 20.5. 

Things did not get much better in the DPL 2017/18 season either as he scored 240 runs in 10 innings at an average of 26.6.

Timeline

May 2013

BCB investigates allegations of spot-fixing against former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful.

June 2013

The BCB decides to suspend Ashraful from all forms of cricket after he confesses to the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit that he was involved in spot-fixing during the BPL. A tearful Ashraful publicly asks forgiveness from cricket lovers of the country for his wrongdoings. 

January 2014

BPL anti-corruption tribunal begins hearing into allegations of spot-fixing against Ashraful.

June 2014

Ashraful is banned for eight years and fined Tk10 lakhs by the tribunal conducting an investigation into the corruption charges brought against him by the BCB. He was found guilty on four charges. Prior to his ban, Ashraful plays in an unofficial tournament in the USA.

July 2014

Ashraful appeals against eight-year ban.

September 2014

BCB’s disciplinary panel reduces Ashraful’s ban to five years.

October 2014

Cricket’s governing body in Bangladesh unsuccessfully appeals against Ashraful’s ban reduction.

August 2016

Ashraful’s ban from domestic cricket ends.

August 2018

Ashraful becomes eligible to play all international cricket, including the BPL.