POST TIME: 5 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Ash will try his utmost to return to nat’l fold
Sports Reporter

Ash will try his utmost
to return to nat’l fold

Former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful believed he has still some cricket left and thereby he wants to leave no stone unturned to make him eligible in the national team once again.

Dubbed as the Bangladesh cricket’s first poster boy, Ashraful was slapped with a five-year ban from all forms of cricket following his involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. However having served his time off the field, Ashraful is now raring to make a comeback and represent his country and therefore takes the maiden Afghanistan Premier League (APL) seriously. The APL will consist of five franchisees, is scheduled to be held from October 5 to October 23, will include both Afghan and foreign players.

''I am looking forward to take part in the APL if any team chooses to pick me from the draft. I am expected to be placed in the draft,'' Ashraful told the reporters yesterday while he was attending a program organised by local fans.

''If I can manage to get a team, it will be exciting for me as the platform will help me to answer a lot of questions that is raised regarding my fitness and form in the recent times,'' he added.

Ashraful was initially slapped with an eight-year ban by a special anti-corruption tribunal set up by the board in July 2014 for his involvement in match and spot-fixing in BPL 2013. A one-member appeal panel had then reduced his ban to five years, with the last two years to be reprieved upon producing a certificate of good conduct from the ICC through participation in the 'anti-corruption education and training programme'.

However he knows the competition to don national jersey once again would be a tougher one, which chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu made clear by saying that there is no place in the national team vacant at the moment.

"It is true that in our country after the retirement of Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Rafique, there is hardly any instance of players playing for 37 to 38 years,'' said Ashraful.

''But I want to be a trendsetter. Mashrafe is still playing, that is very inspiring while if the batsmen cannot make a comeback it is because they are unable to perform extraordinarily,'' he said.

''I have spoken with BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon and the BCB CEO and they assured me if I can perform, the door of the national team is open for me,'' he informed.