Bangladesh’s first international cricket star Mohammad Ashraful hopes to prove his worth in the upcoming Afghanistan Premier League of Cricket (APLC) if he is roped in by any franchisee. During an event of a Tigers cricket fan group in the capital on Tuesday, Ashraful stated his firm determination to perform well in APLC.
Since the end of his international cricket ban on August 13, rumours of Ashraful making a comeback in Bangladesh colours flooded both traditional and social media. These rumours were brushed away by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief selectors as baseless and also stated that Ashraful will have to prove that he is fit for international cricket before even earning their consideration.With the ban lifted, Ashraful is eyeing an opportunity in APLC if selected. He has been included in the primary draft for the auction. The former national skipper is itching to silence his critics with a stellar performance in the T20 league. Especially the questions raised about his fitness and strike rate in Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPL) inflamed the passion in him to prove everyone that he is still one of the finest batsmen born out of this soil.
“My name might be included in Afghan Premier League of Cricket. If I am given the opportunity, I will work hard to prove that I am fit for international cricket. Moreover, my strike rate has been a point of intense debate. If I get to play in that tournament I will prove that I am still able to strike the ball clean as a whistle,” said Ashraful.
Apart from Mohammad Ashraful, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman are also reported to be included in the primary draft of APLC. But among these cricketers, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) investor organisation Snixer Sports CEO Ashish Sethi confirmed the presence of only Tamim Iqbal in the primary draft list.
But due to the busy schedule of Tigers in the upcoming months, Tamim might not eventually be able to play in APL which in turn clears the path for Ashraful’s entry in the league.
The ambitious IPL-style league will be played from October 5 to October 23 at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium in United Arab Emirates. ACB also unveiled the logo of the tournament in a glittering ceremony in Dubai on Monday.
Five teams - Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Paktia and Balkh - will take part in the inaugural season of the league that has attracted big names like Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Brendon McCullum, Misbah ul Haq, Kumar Sangakkara and Afghan sensation Rashid Khan.