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Minhajul: Ashraful not near national selection now

  • Published at 07:18 pm August 12th, 2018
Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

According to Minhajul Abedin, the selection panel will first need to see how Mohammad Ashraful performs across all formats of the game in domestic competitions, along with his fitness level before they can consider him for the national side

Mohammad Ashraful will need to perform exceptionally well in at least one more domestic season to be eligible for national selection, said BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin. 

According to Minhajul, the selection panel will first need to see how Ashraful performs across all formats of the game in domestic competitions, along with his fitness level before they can consider him for the national side.

Ashraful’s five-year ban for being involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing in the BPL T20 2013 officially ends today, making him eligible for international cricket and BPL selection. 

The right-handed batsman completed his domestic ban on the same day in 2016 and appeared in two seasons of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League since then. The five List A centuries in last season’s Dhaka League has been the highlight since his return to domestic cricket. 

But his first-class form has been below par with an average of 21.85 in 13 matches, including just one century.

“He (Ashraful) has not played international-level cricket for a long time. So now he has to play well in all the formats at domestic level and he will also have to prove his fitness needed for international cricket; that is very important. Maybe after a year we will get to know his state,” said Minhajul to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Sunday

Bangladesh have a norm of ignoring cricketers who are over 30. However, former Bangladesh captain Minhajul said age won’t be a factor if the player is in form and has the right fitness to compete with the other cricketers in the national circuit. 

Ashraful, now 34, will not only have to outperform his competitors in the national circuit with the bat but also surpass them in terms of fitness.

“Age is never a factor if one performs in the field. A player that has the fitness to perform at international level is always eligible for selection. But with Ashraful, he has a big gap to cover and his age could be a factor for him at this point. But still, he has played good cricket for our country so he does have the ability to play well again. We cannot ensure his selection at this point. He has to prove himself in domestic first,” Minhajul explained.

Though there is a major sentiment from the fans of seeing Ashraful once again in national colours, Minhajul has his honest opinion that Ashraful does not have a slot in the current setup and that he will need to work very hard.

“To be honest he does not have a slot (in the national pipeline) at this point. He is not attached with the system of playing in the High Performance or the Bangladesh A team. So he is far away from the national team at this point. You need to give a player time to go through the journey and achieve the required level,” said the national chief selector.

“He first needs to work on his fitness level – the level that represents the national team and A team along with perform well in the field. This is because there are many players now playing well in positions where Ashraful bats. The competition has increased. So he will need to be outstanding in domestic cricket to earn himself a slot,” Minhajul added.