Dhaka Gladiators v Khulna Royal Bengals, BPL 2012-13

'I felt as if I had forgotten how to bat' - Ashraful

Mohammad Isam

February 11, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Ashraful exults after Dhaka Gladiators' six-wicket win, Dhaka Gladiators v Khulna Royal Bengals, BPL, Mirpur, February 11, 2013
Mohammad Ashraful's unbeaten hundred led Dhaka Gladiators to the target of 177 © Bangladesh Cricket Board

Mohammad Ashraful thought he had forgotten how to hold the bat after a torrid start to the 2012-13 season. But a first-class hundred on the normally flat Bogra wicket, which he considered a lucky break, and now an unbeaten 103 against Khulna Royal Bengals in the BPL have completely turned around his form, and possibly his mindset towards making runs.

He averaged only 13.22 for Dhaka Metropolis in the National Cricket League, aggregating 119 runs in nine innings. There were questions raised after he was included in the Central Zone side for the year's second first-class tournament. Not many would have expected him to make two centuries thereafter as the usual wait for the Ashraful special had dissipated years ago.

"During this season's National Cricket League, I felt as if I had forgotten how to bat," Ashraful said. "Even after the first match of the BCL, I didn't feel like playing anymore in the tournament. But I was persuaded by [Mahmudullah] Riyad and then I was lucky to play in Bogra, where there's a flat wicket and I scored a hundred."

Ashraful believed that had he been under less pressure from the public and the media, he could have played more freely. Maybe the freedom from the limelight has helped him regain confidence in this season's BPL.

"You need luck to make big runs and today luck was on my side. If I score 20 or 25 runs in the next game, everyone will say that I have flopped. In the last two games, I hit the ball straight to fielders. It was my bad luck, so when people talk about it, the pressure goes up.

"There's less pressure in BPL, I can play my shots. I was confident I would do well here. It also helps to bat in the top-order, especially opening the batting in T20s. I think this year more local players are getting opportunity at the top order," he said.

He made a slow start to this year's BPL before hitting 73 against Rangpur Riders in the second game. His next best had been 38 until today, so presented with another big chase, Ashraful hardly changed his method of batting in a Twenty20.

"I don't think you can play T20s with a hundred in front of your mind. You have to play it ball by ball. I had the chance to slow down. I could have just picked the singles towards the last two overs but I was thinking of finishing the chase.

The only moment during the 58-ball innings when he thought a century was a possibility was when he had taken a breather after ten overs. But even after he was dropped off a difficult chance on 94, he hardly believed it was coming.

"After 10 overs, my score was 56. I thought if I played all the overs, I will have a chance. I wanted to be aggressive from the start, because I think this was the best wicket so far in the tournament. When they made 176, we all thought they were 20 runs short. I was told to play straight, and with that in mind, I continued doing so," Ashraful said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Legaleagle on (February 13, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

Again, absolutely clueless Bangladesh fans showering praises without simple scrutiny. Just look at this guy's average- he has a poor average of 22 in both versions of the games. If this is what talented means then God Bless Bangladesh cricket.

If career average or scoring runs is not the criteria then he is very talented.

This is a classic case of a one-eyed man in a city of blinds. I really hope this player develops his skills and hone his talent at performing in both versions of the game.

Posted by Thriller_Tiger on (February 13, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

Though, there are as many as players t0 get chance in the nati0nal squad, we n0tice with sheer frustati0n that there is no such useful Fast Bowlers being created like we are having many useful spinners. In recent days, we saw that though Nazmul Hossain did g00d in the intl. matches, he didn't have much chances to pr0ve himself. We need to give him such chances. Moreover, Talha Zubayer, a rising seamer, being a good b0wler, didn't get chance at BPL.

We sh0uld n0t only depend on spin, because we d0n't play matches in 0nly Indian sub-c0ntinent. We have to play in Aus, New Zealand, RSA, WI, ENG where Seamers get m0re advantage than Spinners get. So, it's a gr0wing c0ncern f0r us. For that, we need to make pitches n0t only fav0urable for spin but also for seam. Then, we will see many seamers will come out. .

BCB should think over it. Otherwise, it will be a bad headache for BangLadeshi Cricket.

Posted by Thriller_Tiger on (February 13, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Ashraful is young en0ugh t0 carry on his career for long time. But it's nice to see that there are many p0tential players, along batsman, bowlers and allr0unders, in the pipeline for BANGLADESH. Shamsur, Nazmul Hossain, Mukhtar, Taijul, Monir, Marshal, Shabbir, Naeem Jnr etc are m0st of them. And there are many young and emerging players like Nasir, Anamul, Gazi, Enamul Jnr, Mehrab Jnr, Abul Hasan, Farhad, Shafiul, Rubel apart from Shakib, Tamim, Mushi, Mahmudullah, Murtaza etc.

Thus, there is going to be c0mpititi0ns t0 get chance in the national squad that did n0t exist in the past.

Posted by   on (February 13, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

I was utterly disappointed for the series of comedies Ashraful performed in the match against Burners right after I posted my first comment on this article yesterday.

Posted by   on (February 13, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

Those who support ash and says about his contribution, i don't see anything to object with their comments. To do justice with him, he was selected & given chance to play at home & abroad consistently though he remained in-consistent for all forms of cricket since long.No other player got so much of chance like him in spite of poor performances continuously. Mentally, he is sick. He cannot accept good performance of others with grace. Lot many young stars are waiting in the line to bring laurels for the country. They shown their talent by now. They need good examples from seniors like Mash, Tanim, Shakib, Razzak are showing now. Ashrafuls activities will be highly demoralizing and will lead our future generation towards wrong direction. We need good men / women for all sectors. They may perform differently but will not jeopardize teams spirit as a whole. If u don't believe, let him remain as Gladiator's Captain- you will see the result soon yourself. Keep ash out permanently. NO ALT.

Posted by   on (February 13, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

If there is no doubt about his batting ability, then there is sure doubt about his mentality. We still remember the issues for which Shakib and Tamim was axed from their Captaincy very harshly without even minimum ceremony. In those days, we also know how ashraful manipulated things to occupy top position as Captain. But, luckily enough that selectors didn't fall in the trap & Mushfiq got the chance as Captain since then. The way Shakib cooperated with Mushi after loosing his position as Captain- ash didn't. If Mushi fails, people will start talking about him again. After 100 in BP L, he stated in the interview that he can do wonder as Captain only. Is that so? What he did yesterday? When Dishan was out after scoring 32 in 10th over, ash scored only 16 playing 23 balls. Shakib got in after Dilshan's departure and scored 8 in just 2 balls. In the next over, ash called for run, Shakib responded, but ash didn't move from his place. Cricinfo commentator said" what have u done ash just now?

Posted by   on (February 13, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

I enjoyed his full batting time. He was so excellent as he is on his day. I think he should follow Tendulkar's advice not to read or see media's news. If he can stop this then he may keep out of some pressure. And also our selectors should give him a chance for one full series where they should give full freedom to him. They can relieve some pressure from him by doing the same thing what Dhaka owner did (Owner said to Ashraful, Just play your own game even if you can't score any runs, you will be selected in the squad for full tournament) before starting the tournament. Best of Luck, Ash!

Posted by   on (February 13, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Welcome back Ash!! Please keep it up this time.

Posted by Energetic. on (February 12, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

That's why Mohammad Ashraful should not play for the national team again because he is simply not consistent. Today he scored 20 of 31 balls and cost his team victory and we simply cannot afford using such players in the national team if they play bad and are inconsistent. He had his chance that's it and only has himself to blame and I don't care how much talent he possesses because talent alone doesn't make you great one bit. I feel it would be a grave mistake to select him for national team again and its time to move on and give our new young guys a chance. Thankfully this T20 stuff will be over in Bangladesh soon and can now focus on International Cricket the long forms which is the real Cricket so lets not turn like India and get Bangladesh to be a proper good Cricket team for once.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

we dont need him anymore its time to look forward

Posted by Pickpocket on (February 12, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

Yesterday Ashraful gets his form & made a hundred. Today ashraful lost his form & lost a match for his slow start. No need ashraful anymore for his Nonsence show regularly and delight show after a year. Now a lots player are performing consistently & ready to enter inti the national side. For God sake no more discussion for Ashraful.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

Quite a number of occasions I found myself among those harsh critics who meant to send Ashraful on an exile from the cricket. But when he was axed from the national squad ahead of last WI tour to Bangladesh, I was one of them who strongly felt selectors had a wrong drop. Throughout BPL-2 he has been a delight to watch (you can not expect a player to shine in every match). Recently his form was somewhat consistent in domestic circuit also.

We should not forget that it is Ashraful who has elevated Bangladesh Cricket to a new height from where we have learnt how to dream to be a major cricket playing nation.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Friends, I think his only problem is he put himself under pressure before expectation. Even if he hears a good comment for him he feels pressure. But never the less he taught BD aggressive playing…

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

Hahahaha, that was really cool, he didn't forgot though :D

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

Ash stick to consistency.

Posted by ahelshahriar on (February 12, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

Ashraful is inconsistent but I still think that He is one of the best Player of Bangladesh. He can hit any bowler and is a treat to watch when in form. He looks better than Sachin Tendulkar when in form!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

He is the most talent batsman in the BD cricket

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

Most Classic Batsman in the history of Bangladesh Cricket !! When Ashraful is on fire the whole team fires together !! His Comeback is Good news for Bangladesh. Good luck to him.

Posted by Ain_EL_Sabet on (February 12, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

@ SK5983 , I think he is highly talented , in fact I think he is no less talented than s.tendulker . But his big problem is his mental habbit - he throws away his wicket playing those unnecessary fancy difficult unproper non-cricketing shots sooooo often that we BD folks lost all hope in him. That pitch was easy for him, hence he took the opportunity and made the ton but should he play in different condition I bet he will do the same thing and throw away his wicket before scoring 30 . He can change technically but not mentally .

Posted by   on (February 12, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

Ashraful has proved that cricket is a temperament game at highest level. Some people have it and likes of Ashraful have lost it.

Posted by wiseshah on (February 12, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

SL tour 15 should be: tamim, shamsur, anamul, shakib, mushfiq, mahmudullah,nasir, mashrafe,sohag gazi,razzaq, shafiul, rubel,shahriar nafees, naeem islam, ashraful,marshall ayub, mehrab jr,enam jr and sabbir rahman in 3 format.marshall, enam jr and mehrab jr in test only. sabbir, ashraful for T20 only

Posted by A.Awal on (February 12, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

With due respect of All Ashraful critics, Please be informed that Ashraful counts the 2nd generation super cricketers of Bangladesh and he boosted up Bangladesh cricket. He is a natural talent. Bangladesh expectators and media's expectations was very high on him and some Great coach like Dave Whatmore, Jamie Siddonce totally destroyed him. This is not his fault. This is our fault to destroy him. Dhaka give him the full freedom to bat and you see the results. I would love to see him again in BD top orders. We owe him lots.

Posted by satishchandar on (February 12, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

ROFL. He will make a comeback and will again forget how to bat. Now, How many times have we witnessed it?

Posted by guru1964 on (February 12, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

Terrific beginning to his career but he is a spent force. No point looking backward. Bangladesh has lots of young talent. No more Ashraful in the national team. He can play the BPL and local cricket and score those lucky hundreds.

Posted by SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on (February 11, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

Please no Ashraful again!!! He is a proven non performer. Still he can get a chance only if he outperforms all his competitor. But this is not happening. This one match performence proves nothing..SHAMSUR RAHMAN Should Get a Call..and Not This Proven Non Performer..He Had Enough Chances

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

well its easy to say negative about Ashraful, atleast his trying to give his best shot. And about the national selection let the selectors decide rather than we getting into any conclusion. Keep it up Ashraful!

Posted by PPD123 on (February 11, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Ashraful is a brainless cricketer. He just lacks skills - both mental and phisical to make it a success at the international level. i am sorry but he just does not have it in himself. I am an India and I actually laugh when I see his name in BD team list. He is a walking wkt. Even before a ball is bowled, BD is one down. Forget about him and move on. The new kid - Nasir has shown some skills and guts, I think BD shud persist with him and forget Ashraful. He is an absolute nightmare.

Posted by Mohammad_Aziz on (February 11, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

Please no Ashraful again!!! He is a proven non performer. Still he can get a chance only he outperforms all his competitor. But this is not happening. This one match performence proves nothing

Posted by AK47_pk on (February 11, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

Only way for him is to play his natural game nd he shud have the freedom for doing that. He is the only batsman in bangla team who impressed me.

Posted by bangla_slog on (February 11, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

Nothing new. Well played. BUT, this have happened before. He forgets to bat for a year. Then he is very good for a day or a week. Then the cycle repeats. I have nothing against Ashraful. But unless he scores 3/4 centuries in quick succession, performs better than the competition(Anamul, Nasir etc) regularly, you cannot take him to the ODI or Test team. He is good choice fro T20 International though.

Posted by abs.liton on (February 11, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

A real hero never dies without showing his over power performance. Ashraful is still an asset for Bangladesh cricket, I think nobody can deny my opinion.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

One flash in the pan aided by two lives and we clamoring for his return to nation cricket! How emotional can we be? He is still young and let him prove his better than rest of the boys struggling to gain an acceptance. I am even surprised that he is picked even by our first-class teams and often handed the captaincy. He should start at the end of the line like everyone else.

Posted by Energetic. on (February 11, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

It was a good 100 but doesn't mean he should be considered for national team he had so so many chances. He averages 22 at International level but really with that much talent he should've been averaging double that amount. If he really wants to get back to the national team then T20 is probably the right format for him now.

Posted by Pickpocket on (February 11, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

I think ashraful have not get a chance in the national team though he made a very good hundred. A lots of player are competing for the opening position with better average & better strike rate. Shamsur Rahman shows a diiferent character & positioned himself at top run getter in the Bpl till todate. Shahriar Nafees is the second highest run getter with a very good solid stroke play with the ground & hitting highest no of four. Tamim is still now an automatic choice for the national team. Another two candidate is Naeem Islam & Anamul Haque Bijoy. They also get runs in the Bpl. So this is the hardest contest to find best two for the team ever. This the way we r benefited from Bpl make more competition with the player with their talent.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

true legend of bangladesh cricket

Posted by real26_03 on (February 11, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

A great innings from Ashraful!! Please keep it up!! Its really joyous to see your big innings..

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

it wasnt u alone ash , everyone thought u have forgotten how to bat , lets hope u prosper in international cricket as well

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Ashraful, really nicely done mate. Luck favored you, but hey, fortune does favor the bold.

I wish you best of luck in continuing this form, hopefully we see you in the national team again with good performances:)

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