Suspended former national skipper Mohammad Ashraful is looking forward to start his rehabilitation and educational programme by December in order to pave the way of his return to competitive cricket next year. Ashraful is currently serving a five-year ban for his involvement in Bangladesh Premier League’s match-fixing scam. His five-year ban included a two-year suspended sentence provided the star batsman participates in the anti-corruption education and training programme to be organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the ICC [International Cricket Council].
Upon production of certificate of good conduct, Ashraful will be eligible to return to cricket on August 13 next year, said BCB’s disciplinary panel that reduced his original eight-year ban to five-year on appeal.
The ICC and BCB decided against contesting the verdict at Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, giving Ashraful a lifeline to revive his career.
Ashraful, who is currently in USA and playing unofficial cricket, said he will return soon to start the process of his rehabilitation.
‘Hopefully, I can start my rehabilitation programme from December,’ Ashraful told New Age over phone from USA.
‘I am not sure about the date but probably it will begin before the end of this year,’ said Ashraful.
‘I will return to Bangladesh in October and will start taking necessary steps to complete the process as it is vital for me in order to make a comeback to competitive cricket,’ he said.
The ICC approved anti-corruption code allows banned players to make an early return to domestic cricket, if they are found to meet certain criteria.
These criteria include ‘the level of remorse shown by the player, his/her cooperation with the ACSU’s education programme.
Ashraful said that he has already informed the BCB about his availability for such rehabilitation programme.
Ashraful’s confidence was raised following a recent development in Pakistan, where Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amer completed their suspension and were made eligible for return next month.
Salman was originally handed a 10-year ban from any involvement in cricketing activities for spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test in August 2010, with five years suspended on the condition that he would commit no further breach.
Salman was also required to participate in a PCB-controlled anti-corruption education programme and the former captain successfully completed the educational programme to get the waiver.
Unlike Salman, who was resisted several times by PCB high-up when he attempted his rehab activities, Ashraful is expected to face no hostility.
The BCB officials said they are considering his case in sympathetic manner and will co-operate him once he starts his rehabilitation process.
‘Though the timing of the programme is yet to be confirmed but it is on the process,’ said BCB’s chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury.
‘We will surely make arrangements so that he can take part in that programme.’
A BCB official said Ashraful is required to address any BCB team, during which he will express his hate against corrupt practices, will admit his fault to make them aware.
-With New Age input