Batsman ineligible for national team and BPL for two more years
Suspended former national skipper Mohammad Ashraful is leaving no stone unturned to make a comeback in competitive cricket with the forthcoming Bangladesh Cricket League.
Ashraful’s ban, imposed upon him by a special tribunal set-up by the Bangladesh board, is expected to be lifted on August 13. Initially he was slapped with an eight-year ban from all forms of cricket but a disciplinary appeal panel ‘set aside’ the sanction and reduced the ban to five years.
It includes two-year suspended sentence provided he participates in the ‘anti-corruption education and training programme’.
The BCB and the International Cricket Council initially had decided to lodge an appeal against the verdict to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sports but later withdrew their decision after a backstage negotiation with the cricketer.
During the negotiation, it was agreed that Ashraful would still remain ineligible for the national team’s selection and in all franchise-based Twenty20 competition, including the Bangladesh Premier League, for five years while he will be eligible to return to domestic cricket after three years.
When contacted, an ICC spokesman refused to make any comment about his five-year ban from the national team and BPL.
‘Mohammad [Ashraful]will be allowed to resume all domestic cricket under the BCB’s jurisdiction as well as non- first-class domestic cricket in ICC Members’ jurisdiction from 13 August 2016 provided he fulfills the ICC requirements,’ an ICC spokesman told New Age.
British lawyer Yasin Patel, who represented Ashraful during the BPL match-fixing trial, confirmed that Ashraful could not be considered for the national team and BPL for two more years.
‘Mr Ashraful is eligible to play domestic cricket from August 13, 2016. However, he will be ineligible to play International cricket or the BPL,’ Patel said, responding to an e-mail of New Age.
Patel refused to comment if the player had any backstage negotiation with the ICC and BCB, but added: ‘The ICC withdrew their Appeal.’
Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury confirmed that Ashraful has already completed his part in anti-corruption education and training programme, fulfilling the condition set out by the appeal panel.
Ashraful is currently in England to participate in an unofficial Sunday League at Kent and due to return in the second week of August before he completes his comeback with the BCL, scheduled from September 20.
Ashraful, 32, began his intense training programme from June 6 under the supervision of Ashiqur Rahman in the Goran Cricket Academy, adjacent to his residence at Banshree in capital.
In the meantime he took help of BCB game development manager Nazmul Abedin from time to time in order to rectify the flaws in his batting.
Nazmul, who had worked extensively with some of the national players individually during their hours of crisis, said he is confident it won’t take long for the youngest centurion of Test cricket to leave an impact.
‘He looks hungry,’ Nazmul told New Age on Tuesday.
‘There is no doubt with his talent and it seems he is determined to make a strong comeback.
‘In this kind of cases we often see players lose determination but that is not the case with him,’ he said.
‘He is trying to improve his batting skill through following some drills. I am sure he would score a lot of runs when he resumes.’
Nazmul added that the only thing that can prevent him from reaching his old self is his fitness.
‘He is not playing competitive cricket for a long time so it might take some time to regain his match fitness but it won’t take long to achieve that,’ he said.
Ashiqur said that before Ashraful left for UK his training programme was divided into two parts, skill training in the morning and physical training in the evening.
Ashraful completed two-and-a-half hours programme in the morning where he batted and bowled in the nets while he worked out in the evening to improve his physical fitness.
‘He ran for six miles during his 45-minute running at treadmill to improve his endurance and it was added by a one-and-a-half-hour gym session.’
-With New Age input