Former national skipper Mohammad Ashraful looked to have lost nothing as far as his fitness is concerned during his three years of suspension as he returned fitter than ever.
Ashraful, whose three-year suspension due to an involvement in match-fixing at Bangladesh Premier League ended on August 13, performed to a satisfactory level during a fitness test held on Tuesday.
Ashraful resumed training using the Bangladesh Cricket Board facilities on August 18 and left BCB’s High-Performance strength and conditioning coach Corey Bocking somewhat surprised with his endurance.
Corey, who was recently assigned with women’s cricket team for their tour of Ireland, took the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy ground.
Ashraful covered the entire academy field for eight times during his uninterrupted nine minutes running at full pace to put an example of his recent fitness.
‘He looks really good,’ Bocking told New Age on Tuesday at Mirpur.
‘The outcome of the fitness test was amazing considering that he was out of cricket for two to three years,’
‘It won’t take him long to regain full fitness but still his present state is quite okay,’ he said.
Corey recently conducted the same fitness test with High Performance unit players and it was learnt that only young Mehedy Hasan, skipper of the previous Under-19 squad, had better performance than Ashraful.
Ashraful said that he was always determined not to look out of sorts when he arrives after completing his suspension.
‘I missed cricket a lot during last three to three and a half years,’ said Ashraful.
‘But I was determined I don’t want to look like I was away and prepared me that way,’ said Ashraful.
‘This was a challenge with my own self,’ he said.
‘Due to this, I tried to play wherever I got a chance and practiced on my own,’ said the youngest Test centurion.
Ashraful said that he will again give a fitness test to have a close look at his fitness level after three weeks as he will follow a fitness programme prepared by Bocking during this time.
‘Basically he saw my present state through this fitness test,’ said Ashraful.
‘He will provide me with a three-week fitness programme,’
‘I will try to follow it alone and later will give another test. Let’s see how far I can improve,’ he said.
The right handed batsman began to use the facilities of the academy premises only four days and during this short span looked to have impressed his childhood coach Wahidul Gani during one of the practice session at the centre wicket.
‘It is just the beginning and I am sure he will go a long way from here,’ Wahidul told New Age watching him play a shot over the cover fielder coming dancing down the wicket against a left-arm spinner.
-With New Age input