Huge loss if Ashraful is banned - Jurgensen
Bangladesh coach Shane Jurgensen has said that it will be a "huge loss" for the team if Mohammad Ashraful was banned from cricket for his involvement in match-fixing. Jurgensen said there was some "disbelief" when the news about Ashraful's confession emerged, but he did not comment on any other aspects of the controversy.
Jurgensen, who returned to Dhaka on Monday from Brisbane, had to face several questions about the issue, but the Bangladesh team management is trying its best to shift the focus back to cricket, before a fitness camp begins in Mirpur on June 13.
Ashraful will not be a part of the camp because he has been suspended by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) until the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) report is submitted. Given his confession, there is doubt whether he will play for Bangladesh in the near future.
"If he is banned, it is a huge loss in the batting order for us," Jurgensen said. "But that's all I am really going to say. I don't know the findings of the investigations. He's batting well and if he's banned, we will miss him. There was a little bit of disbelief there, but I am not going to comment any further."
Jurgensen said it was imperative that everyone concerned with the cricket team returned to the game rather than dwell on the controversy. "It is important [to shift focus]. It has to be business as usual as far as cricket is concerned," he said. "We have some really important cricket coming up. We have all had a really nice break after a long international and domestic season. Now we have to focus strongly on what's coming up."
The camp will be Bangladesh's first prolonged fitness programme in more than two years. Many of the players involved will head to different tours for the Bangladesh A side as well as the Under-23 side in the next two months.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here