Mohammad Ashraful May 5, 2011

Ash eyes a comeback

The darling of Bangladesh cricket six years ago is now an outcast. But he believes he still has plenty to offer to the side, on and off the field
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Mohammad Ashraful does not look a day older than 18. He is a small-built man with a youthful face, a thick crop of black hair and a childlike smile. When he says that he has "at least 10 years of international cricket" left in him, it's easy to believe. Then you think of how much cricket he has already played.

It's been almost a decade since Ashraful debuted against Sri Lanka, stunning the cricket world with a fluent century. He was nothing more than a boy then, and he remembers his exact age without prompting. "I was 17 years and 63 days old then," he said, recalling how he arrived on the scene and how, in the years since, he has squandered chances and been the victim of a struggling team.

Now he's clawing to get his career back. "I've played 55 Tests and 166 ODIs, so I have experience," he said. "Now I need support."

Ashraful has steadily slipped from being the darling of Bangladesh cricket, and perhaps the country's most popular sportsman at one point, to an outcast. He went from being a boy wonder to an ambassador for cricket in the country before he turned 21. In that time he was dropped from the team once, when poor form saw him left out of a series against England in 2003. At 22, he was handed the captaincy.

He had already showed his ability to command respect, during the 2007 World Cup, when Bangladesh culled two major giants, first knocking India out of the group stage with a five-wicket win and then tripping South Africa up in the Super Eights. It's the second victory that Ashraful recalls as his finest moment. "South Africa were No. 1 in the world then and I scored 87 off 83 balls. It was my best game," he said.

Unfortunately for him, that was as about good as it got. He failed to reach those heights in his captaincy, which was given to him soon after the tournament. Under him, Bangladesh only recorded eight victories in 38 ODIs. Ashraful's own form slumped, and when he failed to see Bangladesh through to the second round of the World Twenty20 in 2009 in England, he was stripped of the leadership.

"I was a little bit upset because I wanted to carry on as captain," he said. He scored two ODI half-centuries on the tour of the West Indies but couldn't keep it going. Save for a 75 against Sri Lanka early the next year, his highest ODI score since then against opposition excluding Zimbabwe has been 31. He was regularly out to careless strokes. Thus began a period of yo-yoing in and out of the side.

After one match in a home series last December against Zimbabwe he was dropped. "I was told I would get three games," he said. Against New Zealand, whom Bangladesh blanked 4-0, he was not picked. He then made the World Cup squad on the back of a hundred in a four-day match, and being named Player of the Tournament in the one-day league.

Again, the old familiar inconsistency came back to haunt him. "I played two games but I was batting at No. 7," he said. "After the match against West Indies [where Bangladesh were bowled out for 58], which was a bad game for everyone, only I was dropped. I spoke with the coach after that game and said that everybody fell down. I had even bowled well in that match and felt that I looked good."

Ashraful said it was never explained to him why he was being dipped in and out of the international side like a teabag, even though his relationship with then-coach Jamie Siddons was healthy. "When he [Siddons] first came to Bangladesh, I was the captain and we were good friends."

"After the match against West Indies [where Bangladesh were bowled out for 58], which was a bad game for everyone, only I was dropped. I spoke with the coach after that game and said that everybody fell down"

He had not been forgotten altogether, though. While his team-mates were playing against Australia in the aftermath of the World Cup, Ashraful was leading an A side to South Africa, the start of his bid to get back into the national team. The tour resulted in a 0-1 unofficial Test series loss and a 1-3 loss in the one-dayers. Ashraful was the standout Bangladesh batsman in the one-dayers, scoring 172 runs, including a match-winning century, with an average of 57.33 and a strike rate of almost 100.

His first hope is that a new coach will open the door for him again as Bangladesh look to enter a new era. "Jamie was working with us for four years so a new guy might be good for us," he said. Having worked under Dav Whatmore, who "always wanted to win and was a motivator," and Siddons who "always wanted to improve", Ashraful thinks Bangladesh should now make use of foreigners and former Bangladesh players to take real steps in moving up the world rankings. "There are local guys who want to come and help us, like Habibul Bashar and Khaled Mahmud."

While new guidance is the first route to change, Ashraful wants also to see a wholesale improvement in Bangladesh cricket, not just for himself but for the team. He said more cricket, and exposure to different conditions, are the main ingredients necessary for success in future, especially as far as batting, which he thinks is Bangladesh's biggest weakness, goes. "Our domestic cricket needs to improve. We play a maximum of nine first-class games in a season and that's too little."

Tours like the one he has just completed in South Africa could help to bridge that gap. "We should tour a few more countries for experience," he said. "It is not easy for us. The bounce is chest-high in South Africa and we are used to knee-high bounce at home. Our batsmen have to learn to leave the ball. In our conditions, we have to play the ball."

England is another place Ashraful would like Bangladesh's youngsters to play more in. "I played a season of club cricket in England and conditions are beautiful for batting in June and July. Bangladesh has a lot of uneven bounce because wickets are not prepared properly."

He's in favour of stints in the IPL as well, to broaden players' horizons. Ashraful enjoyed a stint with the Mumbai Indians in 2009, and current captain Shakib Al Hasan is contracted to the Kolkata Knight Riders. "I spent 45 days with Sachin Tendulkar, Shaun Pollock, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan and learnt so much about cricket," he said, "from watching them play to watching how they behave."

When he starts reeling off stories about the different places he has played in and people he has played with, it becomes evident that Ashraful still has a lot to offer Bangladesh cricket, on and off the field.

He knows a turnaround has to come. "For the last one and a half years, I have not been performing as well as I should be internationally, but I will do well again." He dreams of an average over 40 in Test cricket, which is not beyond a man of his skills.

If he wasn't a cricketer, Ashraful could have been a statistician, such is the precision with which he recalls numbers. He remembers all his own scores exactly - not just the big ones like the 158 not out against India but also the 11 against West Indies that was his last international game so far (and coincidentally also how much he made in his last Test, in England last year). The 10 years he throws out casually as a time frame for his future involvement with the Bangladesh national side sounds like a calculated figure and not a random number. Could it turn out to be the decade Bangladesh cricket needs?

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • r0ketman on May 8, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    @nipun: You said "Also,those days,there was no ranking system". That is incorrect. Look up ICC rankings and ratings, they go as far back as 1910. Bradman's innings against India in 1948 is rated as highest ever. Only Indian batsmen ever to crack the top 100 spot in highest ever rating is Gavaskar at no. 20 (This is after India has played test cricket for over 50 years). Highest ever rating by and Indian bowler was Kapil Dev at no. 35, after India played test cricket for 50 years! In 10 years of playing international cricket, BD has produced Shakib, who is no.1 in ODI and no.3 in tests (Currently ranked against contemporary players). Show me one, just one Indian player who has achieved this in the first ten years of their history. I will save you the trouble of looking it up, it does not exist. For further info, Shakib's career best All rounder rating came against ENGLAND, and career best bowling rating came against who else but INDIA! Not Zimbabwe as you tried to suggest.

  • r0ketman on May 8, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    @nipun: How was my question irrelevant? You named Indian players who were completely irrelevant to the argument at hand as none but one of them (lala) played for India in the first ten years. The players you named were not considered superstars by the cricketing experts, they are legends in the Indian Cricket fans mind. Lala's only century in test was also the 1st one by and Indian, hence he is a legend in India. His bowling numbers are average at best. In counter I presented you with Shakib, who is no.1 in ODI and no.3 in tests, in both formats he is a superstar, I didn't say it, the experts you love did. How is my argument irrelevant? On Tamim: I find it funny that you lambasted me for not paying attention to what "experts" say about BD cricket, and yet when the world famous "experts" at Wisden picked Tamim, and as dulabari pointed out Shakib as cricketers of the year,now the experts are wrong? Isn't that hypocritical and utterly irrelevant to the argument?

  • Dani27 on May 8, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Ashraful played a good cricket in this match and i think he can also do for International matches too. I think he will do his best for the next matches!!!

  • dulabari on May 8, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Nipun: " To be Wisden's cricketer of the year,all you need to do is have a good series against England in England or have an exceptional county season.That's all."

    Is it very easy to do good against England in England? FYI, Shakib was Wisden's cricketer of the year before playing a series against England.

  • on May 8, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Anyone''ll b confused after reading those comments 'bout whether it's an article 'bout BD vs Indian Cricket or 'bout a BD cricketer! My BD brothers & Indian neighbors, plz leave those valueless arguments. India is best team now & BD is most impressive & improving team among low ranked ODI & Test teams. Let's talk 'bout Ash here. He should play longer version cricket only for Dhaka until he makes a permanent spot in National ODI & T/20 sides. He should b given chance in last series. I hope new selector will consider him 4 Zim, WI & Pak ODIs later this year. We need his experience.

  • dulabari on May 8, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Nipun:"@ Dulabari :- Check out statsguru.It is easy to use.You'll find your answer. " You also said "Bangladesh has been allout for less than 100 the most times in ODIs."

    According to statsguru Bangladesh played about 250 ODIs and out of 250 their totals were below 100 on 10 occasions. So 10 out of 250 means most of the time.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @r0cketman :- I must clarify my post on Sakib,though.I respect him as a cricketer & I think he is a really good cricketer.But since you brought up the number 1 ranking topic,I found it worthwhile to mention that Sakib with the bat against the top teams have been quite absent since 2010,apart from a glorious series against New Zealand-obviously with the ball he has been very good.I think this topic of mine is irrelevant to the topic so I am sorry about that. But there's no denying the fact that Sakib was the number 1 allrounder in ODI cricket,not test cricket.back in those days,they did not have any ODI cricket.Also,those days,there was no ranking system.& while Sakib is a good player,no doubt,there is no doubt his ranking was helped a lot by the fact that Bangladesh play Zimbabwe almost half the year.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @r0cketman :- I cordially ask you to collect further statistics about which team averages the least runs per wicket,has the highest bowling strike rate,has the lowest number of 100 run partnerships,the ratio of all out for less than 100 to the number of tests played,the highest bowling average,the total number of hundreds scored & 5 wicket hauls taken,the performance of players in first class cricket,the number of batsmen with averages over 35,etc.about all teams regarding their first 68 tests & see it out yourself.You'll get your answer & that will be the ultimate one.For your convenience,you MAY find it useful to compare it especially to Zimbabwe & Sri Lanka,the last 2 teams who got test status before Bangladesh.I am saying these because of the time span.You MAY find it easier & more relevant to compare with these two teams because of they got their test status fairly recently compared to other teams.Cheers.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    @r0cketman :- To be Wisden's cricketer of the year,all you need to do is have a good series against England in England or have an exceptional county season.That's all.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    @r0cletman :- Sakib was the number 1 allrounder in ODI cricket,not test cricket.back in those days,they did not have any ODI cricket.Also,those days,there was no ranking system.& while Sakib is a good player,no doubt,there is no doubt his ranking was helped a lot by the fact that Bangladesh play Zimbabwe almost half the year.Even in ODIs where he was the number1 allrounder,what has he done since 2010 against top teams apart from having one excellent home series against new Zealand in 2010 ? I hope you can understand that your 1st question was way too irrelevant.

  • r0ketman on May 8, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    @nipun: You said "Also,those days,there was no ranking system". That is incorrect. Look up ICC rankings and ratings, they go as far back as 1910. Bradman's innings against India in 1948 is rated as highest ever. Only Indian batsmen ever to crack the top 100 spot in highest ever rating is Gavaskar at no. 20 (This is after India has played test cricket for over 50 years). Highest ever rating by and Indian bowler was Kapil Dev at no. 35, after India played test cricket for 50 years! In 10 years of playing international cricket, BD has produced Shakib, who is no.1 in ODI and no.3 in tests (Currently ranked against contemporary players). Show me one, just one Indian player who has achieved this in the first ten years of their history. I will save you the trouble of looking it up, it does not exist. For further info, Shakib's career best All rounder rating came against ENGLAND, and career best bowling rating came against who else but INDIA! Not Zimbabwe as you tried to suggest.

  • r0ketman on May 8, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    @nipun: How was my question irrelevant? You named Indian players who were completely irrelevant to the argument at hand as none but one of them (lala) played for India in the first ten years. The players you named were not considered superstars by the cricketing experts, they are legends in the Indian Cricket fans mind. Lala's only century in test was also the 1st one by and Indian, hence he is a legend in India. His bowling numbers are average at best. In counter I presented you with Shakib, who is no.1 in ODI and no.3 in tests, in both formats he is a superstar, I didn't say it, the experts you love did. How is my argument irrelevant? On Tamim: I find it funny that you lambasted me for not paying attention to what "experts" say about BD cricket, and yet when the world famous "experts" at Wisden picked Tamim, and as dulabari pointed out Shakib as cricketers of the year,now the experts are wrong? Isn't that hypocritical and utterly irrelevant to the argument?

  • Dani27 on May 8, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Ashraful played a good cricket in this match and i think he can also do for International matches too. I think he will do his best for the next matches!!!

  • dulabari on May 8, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Nipun: " To be Wisden's cricketer of the year,all you need to do is have a good series against England in England or have an exceptional county season.That's all."

    Is it very easy to do good against England in England? FYI, Shakib was Wisden's cricketer of the year before playing a series against England.

  • on May 8, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Anyone''ll b confused after reading those comments 'bout whether it's an article 'bout BD vs Indian Cricket or 'bout a BD cricketer! My BD brothers & Indian neighbors, plz leave those valueless arguments. India is best team now & BD is most impressive & improving team among low ranked ODI & Test teams. Let's talk 'bout Ash here. He should play longer version cricket only for Dhaka until he makes a permanent spot in National ODI & T/20 sides. He should b given chance in last series. I hope new selector will consider him 4 Zim, WI & Pak ODIs later this year. We need his experience.

  • dulabari on May 8, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Nipun:"@ Dulabari :- Check out statsguru.It is easy to use.You'll find your answer. " You also said "Bangladesh has been allout for less than 100 the most times in ODIs."

    According to statsguru Bangladesh played about 250 ODIs and out of 250 their totals were below 100 on 10 occasions. So 10 out of 250 means most of the time.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @r0cketman :- I must clarify my post on Sakib,though.I respect him as a cricketer & I think he is a really good cricketer.But since you brought up the number 1 ranking topic,I found it worthwhile to mention that Sakib with the bat against the top teams have been quite absent since 2010,apart from a glorious series against New Zealand-obviously with the ball he has been very good.I think this topic of mine is irrelevant to the topic so I am sorry about that. But there's no denying the fact that Sakib was the number 1 allrounder in ODI cricket,not test cricket.back in those days,they did not have any ODI cricket.Also,those days,there was no ranking system.& while Sakib is a good player,no doubt,there is no doubt his ranking was helped a lot by the fact that Bangladesh play Zimbabwe almost half the year.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @r0cketman :- I cordially ask you to collect further statistics about which team averages the least runs per wicket,has the highest bowling strike rate,has the lowest number of 100 run partnerships,the ratio of all out for less than 100 to the number of tests played,the highest bowling average,the total number of hundreds scored & 5 wicket hauls taken,the performance of players in first class cricket,the number of batsmen with averages over 35,etc.about all teams regarding their first 68 tests & see it out yourself.You'll get your answer & that will be the ultimate one.For your convenience,you MAY find it useful to compare it especially to Zimbabwe & Sri Lanka,the last 2 teams who got test status before Bangladesh.I am saying these because of the time span.You MAY find it easier & more relevant to compare with these two teams because of they got their test status fairly recently compared to other teams.Cheers.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    @r0cketman :- To be Wisden's cricketer of the year,all you need to do is have a good series against England in England or have an exceptional county season.That's all.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    @r0cletman :- Sakib was the number 1 allrounder in ODI cricket,not test cricket.back in those days,they did not have any ODI cricket.Also,those days,there was no ranking system.& while Sakib is a good player,no doubt,there is no doubt his ranking was helped a lot by the fact that Bangladesh play Zimbabwe almost half the year.Even in ODIs where he was the number1 allrounder,what has he done since 2010 against top teams apart from having one excellent home series against new Zealand in 2010 ? I hope you can understand that your 1st question was way too irrelevant.

  • Nipun on May 8, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    @ Dulabari :- Check out statsguru.It is easy to use.You'll find your answer. @ r0cketman :- It was really tough to produce quality cricketers back then due to infrequent test cricket.Still most countries had produced good players & other players who could play around them with healthy averages by the time they played their 68th test.Bangladesh not plays regular test cricket,these days there are so many other cricket like the academy tours & A tours going around.What have they produced ? Tamim & Sakib-who are still so new to international cricket that you can't refer to them just yet.

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    @nipun : I did not make it an India and BD comparison, I was only replying to mrgupta when he made the comparison. You are yet to point out which point I made was irrelevant. As for the players you named, Lala Amarnath's average was 32, SR 92. The other players you mentioned, all of them started playing on or after 1946, Bradman retired in 1948. All the players you named are 2nd generation Indian test cricketers, apart from Lala. BD still has not gone through their 1st generation in the past 10 years. Here are the million dollar questions for you, mrgupta and the myriad of experts you referred to: 1. Name the No.1 rated all rounder in the world who hailed from India during the first 10 years of their history. 2. Name the Indian cricketer who was named Wisden's cricketer of the year in the first 10 years. 3. which full strength test team did India whitewash in the first 10 years? (Hint for BD: Question 1. Shakib, 2. Tamim, 3. NZ)

  • on May 7, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Anyone''ll b confused after reading those comments 'bout whether it's an article 'bout BD vs Indian Cricket or 'bout a BD cricketer! My BD brothers & Indian neighbors, plz leave those valueless arguments. India is best team now & BD is most impressive & improving team among low ranked ODI & Test teams. Let's talk 'bout Ash here. He should play longer version cricket only for Dhaka until he makes a permanent spot in National ODI & T/20 sides. He should b given chance in last series. I hope new selector will consider him 4 Zim, WI & Pak ODIs later this year. We need his experience.

  • dulabari on May 7, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Nipun: "Bangladesh has been allout for less than 100 the most times in ODIs."

    Any body can go to the statsguru of cricinfo and find out about the truth of the statement. It is far from the truth.

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    @r0cketman :- The good players I am referring to go by the name of Lala Amarnath,Vinoo Mankad,Bishan Singh Bedi,Chandrashekhar,Vijay Hazare,Amarnath,etc. (all these players played against far more stronger opposition like Bradman's invincibles,& all were groomed by the time India played as many matches as Bangladesh). You have turned it into a meaningless India-Bangladesh matter.Why,this Bangladesh outfit would be embarrassed by the Zimbabwean team which beat a full strength Pakistan team in only its 11th test. As I said,perhaps you understand something about the Bangladesh side which myriads of cricket experts all around the universe fail to understand.Maybe.Who knows.Cheers :)

  • dulabari on May 7, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Nipun:"No other team has had as horrible performances in their initial years as Bangladesh-& worryingly" --- New Zealand won their first match after 26 years. They also had the record of 29 all out. New Zealand along with India and Pakistan used to play 4 day test matches. England, Australia, West Indies used to send their 2nd team to those countries. England once send two teams to Australia and new Zealand at the same time. So draws were much easier.

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    @r0cketman :- Ok,India had a weak team,tried to draw matches,wadda wadda-but man,you just look at the stats of the two teams' performances-simple mathematics dude.If you just keep on making such irrelevant points then leave it at that.Perhaps you are one hidden talent who understands the game better than the cricket experts all around the world who are saying the same thing as I do.Look at the comments & points again with a neutral eye when you cool down-you'll realise your wrong logics.Cheers

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    @nipun: "Once again your logic is wrong.India,or for that matter,any other test team,has proved that even when they performed poorly in a series or two in their early years,they showed enough class in between to prove that they were test class.With Bangladesh,this side can't even beat associates properly without losing consistently.No other team has had as horrible performances in their initial years as Bangladesh" This is a completely subjective statement without any use of statistics or logic to back any part of that. Define "class", and provide stats for it, please! Cricket is a game of statistics, there is no room for fans opinions. For every bad statistics you will show for BD, I will show you the same for India's early early years or even worse. And based on comparing early years of Indian cricket and BD cricket, BD is in no way worse off than India was in the first 10 years of playing test cricket. I challenge any Indian fans to disprove me, with using stats off course.

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    @nipun: Any point can be logically made without needing 1000 letters! The comparison between Harbhajan and Shakib is clear as day, where can there be an argument and how is it irrelevant? And isn't it laughable that you say without Tamim and Shakib, BD would be no where to be seen? Is that even an argument? Tamim and Shakib are Bangladeshi players, just like Tendulkar and Ganguly are Indian players. So, I can follow your chain of logic and make the following statement: Without Tendulakar and Ganguly , India would have been nowhere to be seen as these two scored over 40,000 international runs between them! Which school of logic does this argument belong to? About test bowlers with 100 Plus wicket - the first Indian to get 100 wickets was Mankad, not until the mid 1950s (took 25 years for an Indian to get there) with a strike rate of 91 and average of over 32- sounds like awesome stats to me! Indian cricket history is just as poor as BD! You just don't want to admit that!

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    @r0cketman :- Once again your logic is wrong.India,or for that matter,any other test team,has proved that even when they performed poorly in a series or two in their early years,they showed enough class in between to prove that they were test class.With Bangladesh,this side can't even beat associates properly without losing consistently.No other team has had as horrible performances in their initial years as Bangladesh-& worryingly,had it not been for Sakib Al Hasan & Tamim Iqbal,Bangladesh cricket would have been nowhere to be seen.About your Sakib & harbhajan comparison,well,the points you made are non-existent & completely irrelevant;you're just not getting the point & cricinfo doesn't allow publication of very long comments which could have made it easier for you to understand the point.

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    @nipun: In their first 68 tests, India's results are as follows: Lost 29 matches, 13 of them were innings defeats. However, only one out of the 29 matches they lost were close, as they lost by 94 runs (if you call that close) to Australia in Kolkata in 1956. The other defeats (outside the 13 innings losses) were by a margin greater than 100 runs or more than 7 wickets. While Innings defeats sound more despicable, losing by 8,9 or 10 wickets or by more than 150 + runs is just as bad, as it tells you the matches were not even close. This combined with fact that 3 out their 6 wins during this period came against the minnows is proof that India had a very weak team who tried to draw matches rather than to win. They even lost to Pakistan by and Innings and 43 runs in 1952, the year Pakistan started playing test cricket. Who are these "good test players" you keep referring to? Mankad was the 1st Indian to get 100 wk in the mid 50s, at career SR of 91, great stats! Shakib has better!

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    @ nipun: When BD loses handsomely you would claim they got test status too early and they are not test class. When India gets thrashed "it is an accident", I am just trying to point out the fallacy in your logic. The number of years in BDs case is almost irrelevant as in 10 years, they have played a lot matches, but has not had enough time to rotate new generation of players. Your argument about BD having one test bowler with over 100 wickets shows you choice of selective stats to try and prove a point. Lets compare India's premier bowler Harbhajan, who is a spinner, and Shakib al hasan, also a spinner - this is a fair comparison, right? Look up their stats, and Shakib has identical stats in Test cricket as far as avg., econ and strike rate. In ODIs however, he leaves Harbhajan in the dust with way better numbers that are statistically significant. The only reason Shakib has less number of wickets in both formats is because number of matches played, simple logic!

  • on May 7, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    This is a post about Bangladesh team and Ashraful. Why we're talking about India here?? Why these Indian fan have to interfere in everything Grrrrrrrrrr

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    @r0cketman :- "India lost all 3 tests, 2 of those were innings defeats. Were all three test results accidents? This is in 1974, 42 years after India got test status." Pakistan lost to England handsomely when they toured England in 2010.Does that mean Pakistan got their test status too early ? You are not even making valid comparisons mate.

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    @r0cketman :- India have won 20 odd matches against Bangladesh & lost 2 in ALL limited overs cricket.Bangladesh has won 5 matches against Ireland & lost 3 in ALL limited overs cricket.Thus you can clearly differentiate that there is no comparison between India & Bangladesh.But you can clearly compare Bangladesh to Ireland because of the number of matches played.Considering the relative experience of the two sides & the cricketing infrastructure of the two sides-Ireland is way better than Bangladesh-& this is the point of almost all the experts-not only mine.See,Bangladesh has got only one player who has been invited to play county whereas all other countries have got more representatives in county-even Collins Obuya from Kenya.Numerous players from Holland,Ireland have played county cricket.So doesn't that tell you anything ? I never said that Ashraful is Bangladesh's best batsman by statistics-please read carefully before commenting.

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    @r0cketman :- Bangladesh has been playing cricket since the late 1980s too.How many matches did India play to win their first test ? How many tests India drew in between ? How many good players did they produce in that period ? What has Bangladesh done in 68 tests they have played so far ? won 3-against a depleted Zimbabwe & two against a 3rd string West Indies team,drew 6-only one without rain's help against a full strength team.Innings losses ? 34 !!!! hat's exactly 50% of their tests-& most of them inside 3 days.India in their first 68 tests ? 33 draws & 7 wins.Against-strong West Indian,Australian & English sides back then.Who are you kidding ?

  • Nipun on May 7, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    @Zakirul Haque :-You can search cricinfo's scorecards to see how comprehensively Ireland beat Bangladesh in ICC World Cup 2007,ICC World T20 2009,& last year in Ireland.Bangladesh has been allout for less than 100 the most times in ODIs.That's a remarkable feat to achieve so early in their cricketing days,isn't it ? India have played,I believe,about 400/450 ODIs.They may thus have lost the odd game here & there to minnows.Bangladesh ? barely 200 games played & regular losses to Ireland,also losses against Kenya,Canada,Netherlands. You can search how many times India & Bangladesh have got out for less than 100 in tests & ODIs respectively.

  • Bang_La on May 7, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    @ r0ketman, thank you very much for your laborous research to reply to one mrgupta. And I entirely agree with you about Ashraful's habit of throwing wickets in most dire time. It always appears to me that he is much prone to get cheers from his gallery show. You might have notice that when he playes his strokes he often finds fielders there, that questions his cricket sense. May I bowwow from Tagore and quote what he said about talent in poets, " The wood which doesn't burn, is not fire. Its an waste to call such wood a fire". In 5 matches out of 166, he is praised to make Bangladesh win. This is stretching facts too far. In all those matches someone had to finish the winning and the way way Ashraful was out in those matches were simply stupid.

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    @nipun: "India got all out for 44 in one innings-that was an accident." Really? It was an accident? Did you even look up the three match series results from that year with England? India lost all 3 tests, 2 of those were innings defeats. Were all three test results accidents? This is in 1974, 42 years after India got test status. When BD Loses by an Innings, every cries "oh they got tests status too early!" Did you say India got tests status too early after this thrashing by England in 1974? Where is the fairness in this argument?

  • r0ketman on May 7, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    @nipun: India has had cricket clubs since 1848, they have played yearly matches with European team since 1912. So even though they got test status in 1932, India has been playing international cricket matches for 40, yes 40 years before they registered their first victory, and that victory came against the newbies Pakistan. Let us play cricket for 100 years (1912 to almost 2012 in India's case) and then make comparison. Ireland's victories against BD were comprehensive? Why dont you post the results for everyone to see? BDs victory over india in 2007 was comprehensive, so by that logic BD is better than India? In head to head ODI matches, Bangladesh won against Ireland 5 times and lost twice, not 3 times. Please get your facts straight. And no one is claiming Ashraful to be BD's best batsmen in terms of statistics, please do not argue against a point no is trying to make.

  • on May 6, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Nipun: "They (Ireland) have been comprehensively beaten by Ireland 3 times now-they (BD) have also lost to Canada,Netherlands,Kenya"

    Ireland has lost to BD 4 times and won 2 times. Please post the score and people will understand if that was comprehensive or not. In addition to Sri Lanka, India also lost to Kenya twice and Bangladesh twice. Also, India's lowest total in ODI is 54 (little less than BD's 58) and in tests India lowest score is 42 (and BD's 62)

  • Nipun on May 6, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    India drew a lot of tests in their initial years in test cricket.Plus they produced a lot of quality test players.India got all out for 44 in one innings-that was an accident.Bangladesh get all-out for less than 100 in practically every three to four series they play.India did lose to Sri Lanka before Sri Lanka,true,but look at Bangladesh.They lose to practically every team they play against.They have been comprehensively beaten by Ireland 3 times now-they have also lost to Canada,Netherlands,Kenya even after they got test status.They have only one batsman who averaged more then 30 (!) after playing a decent number of tests.Just a single bowler has taken hundred test wickets,& that too with a strike rate of about 90. Don't kid yourself folks.Look at the plain truth-statistics of players & team as a whole.Forget even test class,Bangladesh are not even first class-as brutally shown by the fact that they've lost handsomely to county sides whenever they've played against them.

  • irfans1 on May 6, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    @ Nipun, mate your info about Pakistan cricket structure needed to be refreshed.. circket structure can't be measure on few things.. For Ashraf, i think he need to preform well in domestic cricket before getting back to national team... good for him to play some county/club cricket which is very competitive when we compare it with this IPL.. i think, he deserve another chance may be not soon though... overall, BD team need to get more expereince and exposure in limited overs cricket, i think they were rushed into test without getting much exposure.. they also need to work on the most important area, which is fast bowling..they need to find fast bowlers(i am not saying gentle medium pacers like they have in their team now... i think all of the sub-continent teams need to improve their fast bowling resources except Pakistan(as they always come up with exciting fast bowlers)

  • on May 6, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    you make the same argument about IND winning more tests in their first 68 tests. However, you carefully and intentionally omit the facts behind those victories. India won 6 matches in those first 68, 2 of them came against PAK in 1952, the same year PAK got test status. In that same 3 match series, PAK beat IND in the 2nd match by an innings. One other victory came against NZ who did not register a win for the first 20 years they played test matches. If IND improved so much faster, how would you explain India's tour of ENG in 1974, 42 years after becoming a test nation? Being bowled out in a test match for 44 is improvement? How about 5 years later in WC of 79 when they lost to SL, who did not even have test status at that time? Is that improvement? The fact is IND took a lot of backwards steps too before becoming formidable in the past 10 years, they have been playing since 1932. Was IND poorer than BD is now? Is that even possible? Will wait for your response.

  • on May 6, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Ashraful made a confession himself somewhere that i cant remember that he couldn't perform because he was under a lot of pressure of being dropped out of the team. a very good excuse coming from a cricketer "who has the experience", according to him.

    in my humble opinion, someone who cant deal with pressure after a decade of international cricket, should look for other profession. yes, he definitely had talents and its unfortunate to see it wasted. but its even more unfortunate to see him going to the crease with much expectation and coming back with a score between 0-10. even on TV it becomes clear he is under immense pressure. it is over for him.

  • tauhid_aks on May 6, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Ashraful's talent has, sadly been wasted. I feel he should have played lots of first class cricket in the last 10 years, before making his debut. One good innings in domestic cricket is not enough in international cricket. I understand our strength is spin, so we prepare slow pitches for international cricket. But what difference does it make if we keep slow tracks in domestic cricket as well? We need bouncy and green tracks for domestic competitions, otherwise our cricket won't improve.

  • on May 6, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    He has been given plenty of chances. It's time to move on. Domestic cricket is one thing and at international level it's another. Bad strokes mean bad judgment which - leading to the fact he cannot read balls at the highest level. No other player in bd history has been dropped and taken back so many times ... Shahreer Nafees , Junaid Siddique are the right replacements.

  • Meety on May 6, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    @scripted - to me the bigger problem is not so much his flashy starts, its the innings where he knuckles down, (say an ODI match), gets 10 off 40 balls & then gets out to a flamboyant shot. He has 2 speeds rabbit & snail. He needs to learn to nurdle singles, get off strike & wait for the bad balls to hammer. His experience would be handy, but if I was someone like Rajin Saleh, I'd be saying why does Ashraful get all these opportunities & I get none? There are plenty of young batsmen coming thru their 1st class ranks that are probably already a better batsmen then Ashraful!

  • Meety on May 6, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    @Nipun - agreed that Ashraful has severely underperformed in his role as a batsmen & yes he regularly drops catches, but your 2nd post is out of line matey. The Bangas have world class players, namely Shakib, Tamim, & Razzaq. I personally think that Rahim is the best w/k in the world (not keeper/batsmen), & I believe that Mauhmudullah may end up being as good as Shakib. These are all green-shoots for Banga cricket. The Bangas deserve to be playing test cricket far more then Zimbabwe. Also the comment "...this guy as their best batting talent,with a batting average of 23,tells you all you need to know about Bangladesh cricket..." tells me all I need to know about you, which is not much!!!! @Optimistix - yes I had a chuckle at that comment too! @mrgupta - you keep using those win/loss stats, which don't take into account the fact that the Bangas are playing against nations with over 50yrs, (some 130+), worth of Test experience. The Bangas 1st class structure is about 12yrs old!!!!!!

  • smudgeon on May 6, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    Ashique129 - I'd like to point out that Afridi's bowling during the last few years has been more or less excellent (particularly in the WC). And I think these days he's considered more of a bowler who can bat, rather than the other way around...

  • r0ketman on May 6, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    @scripted: "Hopefully, Ashraful will learn very soon that he needs to buckle down and convert more of his flamboyant starts to meaningful innings." I am trying to figure if this statement was uttered in jest or not. He will learn very soon? He has not learned a darned thing in 10 years, and that is his problem. Talent alone is not enough in the world of sports, otherwise the Jordan, Kobe, Gretsky, Pele, Manning, Marino, Bradman and Tendulkars of the world would never have to show up for practice. Someone told Ashra-fool early in life that he was talented, so he determined he does not need to learn anymore. Ash has blown way more games for us than he has won. The difference is, we are so used to losing that we forget Ash's reckless stroke playing in the 150 games we lost, and remember the lucky 5 innings he played where BD won. I am done with Ash, we need to limit our hero worshiping and recognize Ash will not learn, if he could, he would have by now.

  • r0ketman on May 6, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    @mrgupta: you make the same argument about IND winning more tests in their first 68 tests. However, you carefully and intentionally omit the facts behind those victories. India won 6 matches in those first 68, 2 of them came against PAK in 1952, the same year PAK got test status. In that same 3 match series, PAK beat IND in the 2nd match by an innings. One other victory came against NZ who did not register a win for the first 20 years they played test matches. If IND improved so much faster, how would you explain India's tour of ENG in 1974, 42 years after becoming a test nation? Being bowled out in a test match for 44 is improvement? How about 5 years later in WC of 79 when they lost to SL, who did not even have test status at that time? Is that improvement? The fact is IND took a lot of backwards steps too before becoming formidable in the past 10 years, they have been playing since 1932. Was IND poorer than BD is now? Is that even possible? Will wait for your response.

  • bobagorof on May 5, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    Ashraful has been horribly inconsistent throughout his career after some brilliant innings early on. It took far, far too long for him to be dropped. With all of his experience, he really should be a much more consistent player than he is - even on the 'A' tour he only had one good innings. He needs to be regularly scoring 50s/100s at lower levels before he can think about getting back into the Bangladesh side. He's made 2 scores above 11 in his last 9 innings - not exactly beating the door down...

  • scripted on May 5, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    Hopefully, Ashraful will learn very soon that he needs to buckle down and convert more of his flamboyant starts to meaningful innings. He is such a talented player that it is almost sad to see him get a fluent 20-30 runs and play a silly shot to get out after that. A consistent Ashraful in the middle order could provide Bangladesh the boost they need to make a leap to the next level of competitiveness.

  • QTS_ on May 5, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    In one of the previous articles, someone (I forgot his name) suggested an intelligent course of action: pick Ashraful only for matches against the very top teams, where Bangladesh usually lose without significant resistance. This would provide Ashraful opportunities to play and his once-in-a-year stellar knocks can occur during one of those matches, perhaps leading to victory. No risk plan all around.

  • Indiaforever on May 5, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Ashraful deserves to be in the Bangladesh side, he is a natural talent. He will come back very strong, the next time he plays. The three players for Bangladesh who can make a difference are: Shakib, Tamim and Ashraful. They are the best batsmen in the country and need to step up in the big games. The spin bowling is very good, Razzak and Shakib are top class bowlers and fast bowlers is a bit of a problem as well, in 4-5 years Bangladesh will be a top country in cricket.

  • mrgupta on May 5, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    @STARFISH14 : If Technically the best batsmen in the side has a batting average of 22.38 in test and 23 in ODIs then it clearly explains why BD fails to Win any matches against the top oppositions. Even after having a foreign coach and good facilities they still compare themselves to India of 30s, 40s and 50s and remain happy thinking that they are not very far behind that Indian side even though India in those days was a very poor country who had just become independent and had no funds or fan following for the game. Still India's Win-Loss ratio till their 68th test was 4 times higher than what BD has managed in their 68 test matches.

  • on May 5, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    This guy is a tried and tested failure, it makes no sense to keep playing him. They should be concentrating on young guys who can be useful like Shuvagoto Hom, not consistent failures like Ashraful.

  • Ashique129 on May 5, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Ashraful is a wonderful talent for sure - a talent that sparks inconsistently. In a struggling team like ours, you cannot gamble with a player who may win you a match in every 10-15 attempts. He might be unlucky to not be born in a strong cricketing nation such as Pakistan: people like Afridi may get 20-30 chances before being dropped (please refer to Afridi's current run of poor scores). In the recently concluded series agaist SA-A, Ashraful scored one match winning innings out of 4 1-dayers and 3 (I believe) 1st class innings. It is not easy for one to change behaviour as evident from his 10-year performance to date. Until he proves consistency at the domestic level (may be in the next two seasons), he shouldn't be given any more 'wasted opportunities' in test cricket. Maybe T20s would be fine, as his inconsistency may not matter much in that format. For 1-dayers, I am really not sure.

  • on May 5, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    If the career of Ashraful bhai was shed a light on, I fail to comprehend why his monumental ton against Australia (http://www.espncricinfo.com/natwestseries/engine/current/match/211364.html) and the follow-up where he put his side on course, albeit briefly - for a chase of 392 - as he murdered the likes of Tremlett, Harmison and Flintoff on his way to a 52-ball 94 (http://www.espncricinfo.com/natwestseries/engine/match/211579.html) did not get a mention.

    He most certainly has a lot of international cricket left in him. A brilliant talent like him will make his own way to success. They say a batsman's peak time of the career comes at the age of 28-32. He hasn't reached there yet, but he's about to.

  • Optimistix on May 5, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    " He dreams of an average over 40 in Test cricket, which is not beyond a man of his skills."

    Do you realize that with a current average of 23, in order to average 40, he'd have to average around 57 in just as many innings as he's played so far? An average of around 57 over about 55 tests does indeed seem beyond him, and most batsmen for that matter.

    Nothing against Ashraful, just pointing some basic stats that you don't seem to understand.

  • STARFISH14 on May 5, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Mohammad Ashraful should be back in Bangladesh side because he is technically the best batsman in bangladesh side

  • on May 5, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    i know that he mast comeback he is a natural talent. we r wait for that.

  • mm71 on May 5, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    @Nipun, I feel your comments are a bit extreme. Till late 80s & early 90s Sri Lanka too was like this. Till the arrival of Sunil Gavaskar in 70, India too was the same. Teams take decades to move from strength to strength. The passion for cricket in Bangladesh shows that it's a matter of time before they become world class. We would do well to be patient & keep giving them opportunities.

  • naim_bd on May 5, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    he has the skill, he has the determination(yes. he spends more time in net than many other players) and more importantly he got the support for a long time even after consitent ill-performing but everything end up with nothing everytime. he looks very calculative off the field but suffers from dillema on the field wheather to hit or defense. i think he should concentrate on his natural stroke-playing mode without trying predetermined and unorthodox shots. best wishes for Ashraful.....

  • Razzor7 on May 5, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Ashraful is one of the best batsmen that bangladesh has ever produced - shame they drop him all the time without giving him chances. Mark my word, The next international series he plays in be it Test, ODI or T20I - he will be one of the standout performers.

  • on May 5, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    The youngest centurion in Test history have got so many opportunity and is still daring to make a comeback , I think if Bangladesh board had the guts , could have make his position competitive by giving half as many chances to some other batsman . In that way BD team could have a competitive squad . Instead of investing time and effort on batsman with an average of 20 something , may be 5 more players with a 30 something average has to be given a chance , even if it is for 5 innings .

  • Nipun on May 5, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Even Pakistan does not have any proper cricketing structure in place,but that hasn't stopped them from producing world class talent. Bangladesh cricket neither has world class talent nor any cricketing structure in place-so why on earth are they playing test cricket ? The fact that Bangladesh cricket refers to this guy as their best batting talent,with a batting average of 23,tells you all you need to know about Bangladesh cricket.

  • Bang_La on May 5, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Its better Ashraful keep leading Bangladesh A team instead of a comeback to main stay. 55 tests, 166 ODIs and big backup support from political muscles in the Bangladesh Cricket Board are enough of chances to prove his incompetence. Bangladesh are again becoming a whipping post and its imperative that Bangladesh look for players who deliver regularly. There is no look back now. Adios Ashraful. Good luck.

  • Nipun on May 5, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    The domestic cricket in Bangladesh is non-existent,agree.But does this explain this guy's habit of getting out from shots like reverse sweeps & scoops,even in test match cricket ? Poor domestic cricket can limit batting techniques & skills but not your mind.Forget batting techniques & skills,Bangladeshi batsmen don't even have a proper mind.One or two good knocks a year don't make you a talented batsman,& this is applicable for all Bangladeshi batsmen. These guys can't even play at home.Even average bowlers,namely Robin Peterson,Sulieman Benn (with all due respect to both) need to just roll their arm over to take Bangladesh wickets. For all his statistical concerns,he should know that nowadays players with averages of 23 are considered,at best,lower order batsmen who are very good bowlers.To boot,this guy is also Bangladesh's worst fielder.You can take a look at the matches he's played in to keep a count of the number of catches he has dropped.

  • smudgeon on May 5, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    "Our batsmen have to learn to leave the ball. In our conditions, we have to play the ball". This is, in my limited experience of watching Ashraful bat, Ahsraful's biggest problem. The amount of times I have seen him caught behind or in the slips flaying at wide deliveries on the rise, it's almost compulsive! Maybe he should go for a stint in domestic ranks in Australia or SA - somewhere he can learn to play or leave a ball on it's merits in bouncy conditions. The guy is obviously talented, but it's worrying how far his performance has slipped. Until he finds that form again (if he ever does), he's a marginal fringe player at best. Time is on his side, though, and I wish him the best.

  • Meety on May 5, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    What struck me about the article is that at no stage has he said - "yes I should of been dropped" at any stage, just some lame "I'm a victim" comments. He has had more chances then many other Banga batsmen (thinking of Rajin Selah & there are others). I think most people would want to see Ashraful reach his potential, but he reeally has to deliver the next chance he gets. The Bangas do need his experience, but they need a batter with a Test ave over 40 more!!!!!!

  • MASHURUL_RIAZ on May 5, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    I love Ashraful very much,i think the real Bangladeshi cricket fan also love him,now he need to support from every body,in current Bangladesh team he is a needful cricketer,request to new selection team please sit with Ash and motivate him & confirm him to give him chance to next at least 10 mach....Ashraful will be the affective asset for Bangladesh cricket for next 10 years....please comeback Ashraful with your skill

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  • MASHURUL_RIAZ on May 5, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    I love Ashraful very much,i think the real Bangladeshi cricket fan also love him,now he need to support from every body,in current Bangladesh team he is a needful cricketer,request to new selection team please sit with Ash and motivate him & confirm him to give him chance to next at least 10 mach....Ashraful will be the affective asset for Bangladesh cricket for next 10 years....please comeback Ashraful with your skill

  • Meety on May 5, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    What struck me about the article is that at no stage has he said - "yes I should of been dropped" at any stage, just some lame "I'm a victim" comments. He has had more chances then many other Banga batsmen (thinking of Rajin Selah & there are others). I think most people would want to see Ashraful reach his potential, but he reeally has to deliver the next chance he gets. The Bangas do need his experience, but they need a batter with a Test ave over 40 more!!!!!!

  • smudgeon on May 5, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    "Our batsmen have to learn to leave the ball. In our conditions, we have to play the ball". This is, in my limited experience of watching Ashraful bat, Ahsraful's biggest problem. The amount of times I have seen him caught behind or in the slips flaying at wide deliveries on the rise, it's almost compulsive! Maybe he should go for a stint in domestic ranks in Australia or SA - somewhere he can learn to play or leave a ball on it's merits in bouncy conditions. The guy is obviously talented, but it's worrying how far his performance has slipped. Until he finds that form again (if he ever does), he's a marginal fringe player at best. Time is on his side, though, and I wish him the best.

  • Nipun on May 5, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    The domestic cricket in Bangladesh is non-existent,agree.But does this explain this guy's habit of getting out from shots like reverse sweeps & scoops,even in test match cricket ? Poor domestic cricket can limit batting techniques & skills but not your mind.Forget batting techniques & skills,Bangladeshi batsmen don't even have a proper mind.One or two good knocks a year don't make you a talented batsman,& this is applicable for all Bangladeshi batsmen. These guys can't even play at home.Even average bowlers,namely Robin Peterson,Sulieman Benn (with all due respect to both) need to just roll their arm over to take Bangladesh wickets. For all his statistical concerns,he should know that nowadays players with averages of 23 are considered,at best,lower order batsmen who are very good bowlers.To boot,this guy is also Bangladesh's worst fielder.You can take a look at the matches he's played in to keep a count of the number of catches he has dropped.

  • Bang_La on May 5, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Its better Ashraful keep leading Bangladesh A team instead of a comeback to main stay. 55 tests, 166 ODIs and big backup support from political muscles in the Bangladesh Cricket Board are enough of chances to prove his incompetence. Bangladesh are again becoming a whipping post and its imperative that Bangladesh look for players who deliver regularly. There is no look back now. Adios Ashraful. Good luck.

  • Nipun on May 5, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Even Pakistan does not have any proper cricketing structure in place,but that hasn't stopped them from producing world class talent. Bangladesh cricket neither has world class talent nor any cricketing structure in place-so why on earth are they playing test cricket ? The fact that Bangladesh cricket refers to this guy as their best batting talent,with a batting average of 23,tells you all you need to know about Bangladesh cricket.

  • on May 5, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    The youngest centurion in Test history have got so many opportunity and is still daring to make a comeback , I think if Bangladesh board had the guts , could have make his position competitive by giving half as many chances to some other batsman . In that way BD team could have a competitive squad . Instead of investing time and effort on batsman with an average of 20 something , may be 5 more players with a 30 something average has to be given a chance , even if it is for 5 innings .

  • Razzor7 on May 5, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Ashraful is one of the best batsmen that bangladesh has ever produced - shame they drop him all the time without giving him chances. Mark my word, The next international series he plays in be it Test, ODI or T20I - he will be one of the standout performers.

  • naim_bd on May 5, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    he has the skill, he has the determination(yes. he spends more time in net than many other players) and more importantly he got the support for a long time even after consitent ill-performing but everything end up with nothing everytime. he looks very calculative off the field but suffers from dillema on the field wheather to hit or defense. i think he should concentrate on his natural stroke-playing mode without trying predetermined and unorthodox shots. best wishes for Ashraful.....

  • mm71 on May 5, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    @Nipun, I feel your comments are a bit extreme. Till late 80s & early 90s Sri Lanka too was like this. Till the arrival of Sunil Gavaskar in 70, India too was the same. Teams take decades to move from strength to strength. The passion for cricket in Bangladesh shows that it's a matter of time before they become world class. We would do well to be patient & keep giving them opportunities.