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BPL 2019

I am eyeing to show my potential in BPL- Ashraful

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I am eyeing to show my potential in BPL- Ashraful
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|| CF Correspondent ||

Former national skipper Mohammad Ashraful said that he is happy to make a return in the Bangladesh Premier League leaving behind his past disappointment that had changed his career upside down.

Ashraful returns back to Bangladesh Premier League after serving his five-year ban for match-fixing in the second edition of the tournament. Ashraful, 34, was snapped by Chittagong Vikings in the players draft for the upcoming edition of the tournament. Ashraful had also participated in the draft for Afghanistan Premier League but failed to attract any franchise bids.

Ashraful, who was touted as the biggest thing in Bangladesh cricket, was slapped with a five-year ban from all forms of cricket following his involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the BPL. Having served his time off the field, Ashraful is now raring to represent his country again.

‘’I am happy to be part of BPL as it is a tournament of international stature,’’ Ashraful told reporters at the academy premises on Wednesday.

‘’Playing in the BPL does matter a lot, because it's big platform [to prove yourself] and if you get a chance to play there and perform as well, it becomes easier to get into the national team,’’ he said.

‘’I played in the domestic tournaments like BCL and NCL along with Dhaka Premier League but  nothing is compared to BPL and I am feeling lucky to get an opptunity in the competition,’’ he said.

The 34-year-old was initially slapped with an eight-year ban by a special anti-corruption tribunal set up by the board in July 2014 for his involvement in match and spot-fixing in BPL 2013. A one-member appeal panel had then reduced his ban to five years, with the last two years to be reprieved upon producing a certificate of good conduct from the ICC through participation in the 'anti-corruption education and training programme'.

Ashraful, however, was was allowed to take part in the National Cricket League and Dhaka Premier League the last two years - a period during which, he made all the right noises, scoring five centuries.

However, his poor show in the longer format in the domestic arena has only made him more determined while he is confident that he can take the challenge in the upcoming edition of the tournament for Chittagong Vikings.

The decision behind picking Mohammad Ashraful was a bit of a surprise, considering the Vikings management had the opportunity of taking inputs from national chief selector Minhajul Abedin, who earlier opined that Ashraful had a long way to go as far as his playing in the national team was concerned, pointing to his lack of match fitness. Minhajul, though, took a U-turn saying that Ashraful had improved his fitness.

‘’I am confident that I can take up the challenge in BPL. I have paid the price of my mistake and now looking forward to prove that despite long absence if there is will and potential than certainly he will succeed,’’ he concluded.

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