Ashraful dreams of Bangladesh return | cricketnetwork.com

Ashraful dreams of Bangladesh return

10 August 2018

Tigers' batsman's five-year suspension for involvement in match- and spot-fixing almost up

Bangladesh's one-time teen sensation Mohammad Ashraful is eyeing a return to international cricket with his five-year ban for match-fixing and spot-fixing related charges almost up.

Ashraful was suspended for three years from domestic cricket in Bangladesh for his involvement in match- and spot-fixing in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League, and from international cricket for five years.

The 34-year-old will be eligible to again represent the Tigers – for whom he shot to fame by becoming Test cricket's youngest century-maker as a 17-year-old in 2001 – from August 13.

"I have been waiting for August 13, 2018 for a long time now," Ashraful told ESPNcricinfo. "It has been more than five years since the day I admitted my involvement.

"Although I have played domestic cricket in the last two seasons, there is now nothing preventing me from being eligible for national selection.

"Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement."

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Ashraful has been a standout 50-over performer in Bangladesh across the past two seasons, averaging 47.63 and posting a remarkable five centuries on the 2017-18 domestic tournament. At first-class level, his numbers are less impressive: 13 matches, one century and an average of 21.85.

"The first season after my return wasn't great but I did well in the 2017-18 season," he said.

"I hope to do even better in the coming seasons. Now I can be considered for selection through my performance. I have already gone through a month-long training program and after August 15, I will go into pre-season training leading into the upcoming season's National Cricket League."

Bangladesh are due to take part in the Asia Cup next month, with their first match against Sri Lanka on September 16.