Bangladesh news June 4, 2013

Dejected Ashraful apologises to fans

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The regret of missing out on cricket was what finally broke Mohammad Ashraful. In his first appearance in front of the media, after he met with the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) last month, the cricketer broke down when asked if he regretted his actions at this phase of his career.

"Obviously, I am feeling very bad... Please pray for me," was all he could tell mediapersons, before being taken inside by his friends, who were standing near his house in Dhaka. Ashraful was sobbing, and was quickly taken upstairs to his apartment.

The 2012-13 season saw Ashraful make his highest Test score, in a bid to come back into the Bangladesh team. His 190 against Sri Lanka was hailed by even his critics who quietly praised his patience. Though the subsequent Zimbabwe tour wasn't as good, Ashraful still looked to be in good form. But his admission of guilt to the ACSU has now ensured that he stands in breach of several codes and awaits punishment from the BCB.

A few minutes before the press interaction began, he was trying to force a smile. He even let out a giggle when asked if he would talk off-camera after he repeatedly said he wasn't prepared to talk until the ACSU's report is submitted to the BCB.

"Not talking in front of the camera got me into trouble in the first place," he blurted out, and laughed. This was an attempt at seeking normalcy but, given what he has admitted to, normalcy will elude him even though the ACSU verdict is still a few weeks away.

"I made a mistake. This was the first time in my career that the ICC anti-corruption unit called on me. I did some bad things and I admitted to doing them. I am trying to help them for the sake of cricket," he said. "After coming back from Zimbabwe, when they asked me, I told them what I had done. I didn't want to keep feeling guilty, so I told them whatever I did wrong. I made a couple of mistakes, but otherwise I was honest to the cause of playing for Bangladesh."

One of Bangladesh's most admired cricketers, Ashraful also apologised to his fans. "I apologise to the entire nation, to all my fans and friends. I am guilty about everything. I have disappointed my fans," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on June 6, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    It is safe to say Ashraful was financially in very good state compared to 95% of the population. He may be supporting five famillies as Jimmy was suggesting, the fact of the matter is there are people who make do with much less with greter demand on their earning capability. It is was not the pressure of property that forced him to indulge him into immoral activities. It was greed and chance to live in a bit more confortably tempted him to the wrong path. I do not have sympathy for him as a person but to for those who dependentd on his income. There are things one does that affect so many people directly or indirectly. I feel like victim also as our collective image was turnished by him. It is just not the image. It has real financial impact too.

  • Nutcutlet on June 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    I would hope that the contrite Ashraf can turn state's (in UK we'd call it Queen's) evidence. If he, a senior internat. player, could provide the prosecution with a list of names (cricketers & non-cricketers) whose affairs should be examined with a view to prosecution, then genuine good may come from his held-up hand. I am sorry that he has had his head turned & do accept that should it be possible for him to assist the prosecuting authorities in the manner outlined with resultant convictions, then his penalty should be reduced. That is the principle & his confession & humiliation should then prove a silver-lined cloud - for himself & for the good of the game. Cricket is mired in corruption & whilst it is not exclusively sub-continental in origin, the overwhelming number of cases, historical & currently sub judice, come from that area of the world. BTW, I wd ask readers to consult Transparency International for them to gain a world perspective on corruption. We are not all the same!

  • RG2008 on June 6, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Such a shame, although it is at least refreshing to see some candour and contrition. A stark contrast to recent events in the IPL

  • dummy4fb on June 6, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    You are disgusting Ashraful. Disgrace to the sport.

  • bad_boy on June 6, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    I like Ashraful even more now... for lack of better words I will quote Russell Peters'... "Be a Man" ... and my friends right now Ashraful is the Man....

    Don't get me wrong he should be punished as per current standards... but still he is the Man...

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    In life u have to do what u do , as best as u can. The money will then follow. Money is not secondary. It just flows to those who are great at what they do. All Ash had to do was score tons in every outing and he would have all the money in the world. There are no shortcuts to fame, wealth and glory.

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Its sad to see what's happening to the "Gentleman's Game".

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    the kind of love people around the world have for you is amazing....in most of the places in BD you are the talking point and still people wants that some how the punishment comes in small package and they can see you again playing for BD....ashraful you did all wrong...the first mega star of BD cricket has shown how to disappoint his followers.....but we are thank full that you have confessed everything....you still have a chance...keep alive...!!

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    It's a sad situation for the game .My advise to every up coming young players. You should follow the legends of the game who put the game first before money.End of the day crickert should not be a race course.It's a gentlemans game.

  • dummy4fb on June 5, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    I don't trust cricket anymore. Every results seems fabricated to me now.