Mohammad Ashraful (File Photo)    Getty Images
Mohammad Ashraful (File Photo) Getty Images

The five-year ban on Mohammad Ashraful for involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League ends on August 13. Ashraful would then be allowed to play in international cricket and the BPL; he has already been allowed to play in Bangladesh’s domestic competitions since 2016.

Talking to ESPNCricinfo, Ashraful said, “I have been waiting for August 13, 2018 for a long time now. It has been more than five years since the day I admitted my involvement. Although I have played domestic cricket in the last two seasons, there is now nothing preventing me from being eligible for national selection. Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement.”

The Bangladesh batsman has played reasonably well in the 23 List-A games in the last two years. He has averaged 47.63 in those games. However, he has averaged a miserly 21.85 in 13 first-class matches in the same period. “The first season after my return wasn’t great but I did well in the 2017-18 season. I hope to do even better in the coming seasons,” he said.

The BPL’s anti-corruption tribunal had initially served him a ban of eight years in June 2014 for the offence committed by him. He was also fined BDT 10 lakh (USD 12,000 approximately) by the body. Later that year in September, BCB’s disciplinary panel reduced the ban to five years subject to his participation in a BCB or ICC anti-corruption education and training programme.

Ashraful has expressed hope though for selection in the national side as the period of his ban comes to an end in some days. “Now I can be considered for selection through my performance. I have already gone through a month-long training programme and after August 15, I will go into pre-season training leading into the upcoming season’s National Cricket League,” he said.