Mohammad Ashraful. Photo: Cricbuzz
Former Bangladesh cricket team captain Mohammad Ashraful’s five-year ban from playing international cricket will officially end on August 13.
34-year-old Ashraful was ban for his involvement in notorious match-fixing and spot-fixing during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in 2013.
Ashraful, however, got clearance to play Bangladesh's domestic competitions on the same day in 2016 and now will be eligible for international cricket as well as BPL.
After being cleared for domestic competitions, Ashraful played in two seasons of Dhaka Premier League (DPL) in 2017 and 2018 and highlighted with five centuries in List-A cricket to become the only second batsman to do so in a single List-A tournament after Alviro Peterson of South Africa's domestic circuit, Momentum One-Day Cup 2015-16.
Ashraful has an average 47.63 in 23 List-A games since the ban was lifted, but his first-class form wasn’t so good - a 21.85 batting average in 13 matches with just one century.
While talking to ESPN on Thursday, Ashraful expressed his high hope of playing for the national side again.
“I have been waiting for August 13, 2018, for a long time now… Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement,” said Ashraful.
“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 added.
In June 2014, the BPL's anti-corruption tribunal had banned Ashraful for eight years and fined him Tk 10 lakh (USD 12,000 approx). In September of the same year, the Bangladesh Cricker Board's (BCB) disciplinary panel reduced the ban to five years, with the last two of those years suspended. The BCB and ICC unsuccessfully appealed against the ban reduction. The reduction was subjected to his participation in a BCB or ICC anti-corruption education and training programme. Accordingly, Ashraful took part in an anti-corruption programme and during the 2015 BPL, appeared in awareness videos shown to players and officials.
The timeline of Ashraful's ban and clearance:
May 31, 2013: BCB investigates allegations
June 4, 2013: BCB indefinitely suspends Ashraful. Later in the day, Ashraful admits to fixing during the 2013 BPL
January 18, 2014: BPL anti-corruption tribunal begins hearing
June 2, 2014: Ashraful plays in an unofficial US tournament
June 18, 2014: BCB bans Ashraful for eight years
July 22, 2014: Ashraful appeals against ban
September 29, 2014: BCB's disciplinary panel reduces Ashraful's ban to five years
October 21, 2014: BCB unsuccessfully appeal against Ashraful's ban reduction
August 13, 2016: Ashraful's ban from domestic cricket ends
August 13, 2018: Ashraful becomes eligible to play all international and BPL cricket