CHENNAI: It will be unfair to compare Mohammad Ashraful’s ban to Shakib Al Hasan’s suspension. But it would be apt to say that both saw an upsurge in their professional careers before being pulled back by corruption charges, though on different counts.
Ashraful was banned for five years in 2013, for his involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing in Bangladesh Premier League. Shakib failed to report corruption approaches leading to a two-year ban (one-year suspended sentence).
Ashraful, who has now returned to the fold in domestic cricket, also opined that both cases are different, and that Shakib has a good support system to go through the difficult phase.
“He is a smart player and can handle the situation much better than I did. He has a family (wife and four-year-old daughter) by his side who can help him cope with the situation better. I was not married at that time, so that support was not there. Shakib can spend time with his family to stay in a good frame of mind.”
The former Bangladesh captain wants to represent the country for one last time, and said he wants to do that by improving his domestic numbers.
“I scored an unbeaten century last week for my side. But if I wish to make a comeback, I need to perform better. Though I want to play all formats, I think I have a good chance of playing Tests.”
The 35-year-old was all praise for the new-look Bangladesh outfit who won the Delhi match on Sunday to register their maiden T20I win over India.
“We played good cricket in all the three departments. We were without key players like Shakib and Tamim Iqbal, but youngsters — including Aminul Islam and Shafiul Islam — took the responsibility and came good. We have a good chance to win the series. But we should also be careful as India will come back hard at us. They looked complacent in the first match. But they will be altogether different opponents in the next two.”
However, Ashraful said India will dominate the two-match Test series. “They are the No 1 side. Their pacers, including Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, are doing good. It will be tough series for us.”