Player Profile(#11)…Mohammad Ashraful(Bangladesh)
Mohammad Ashraful (Bengali: মোহাম্মদ আশরাফুল) (born July 7, 1984 in Dhaka) is a Bangladeshi international cricket player and the captain of both the Test and ODI of Bangladeshi national cricket team. He has also been selected to represent ACC Asia XI ODI side.
Ashraful made his test debut on 6 September 2001 against Sri Lanka. In the first innings he was dismissed for 26 runs from 53 balls, but in the second innings he scored his maiden Test century – 114 runs from 212 balls. The century made him the youngest player to score a test century in an international match. There has been some uncertainty regarding his birth date – some sources claim it is July 7, but others, as well as his passport, record it as September 9; although either date would qualify him for his world record status (previously held by Pakistani Mushtaq Mohammad, aged 17 years 82 days in 1960-1).
Following the century, Ashraful began receiving high expectations. However, a prolonged string of poor performances and soft dismissals resulted in him being dropped from the national team. He returned to the team in 2004 against the Indian cricket team and scored his second century, 158 not out, claiming the record for the highest individual Test score by a Bangladeshi. In 2006 he scored his third century, with 136 in the first test against Sri Lanka. In his maiden match as captain of Bangladeshi, during the 2007 season, against Sri Lanka, he made 7 runs in the first innings and the 37 in the second. In the second match of the tour and his captaincy Ashraful was out for a duck in the first innings but scored his fourth century in the second innings. He scored 129 not out, making him the first Bangladeshi cricketer to score 4 centuries. To date Ashraful is Bangladesh’s second highest run-scorer in Test cricket behind Habibul Bashar.
ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL CAREER:
Ashraful made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe on 11 April 2001, where he made just 9 runs and Bangladesh lost the match by 36 runs. He had a poor first World Cup – the 2003 Cricket World Cup – making 71 runs at an average of 14.20, with Bangladesh being eliminated in the Group Stage. Despite a poor start to his ODI career Ashraful has been one of the the key batsmen in several of Bangladesh’s famous victories. He made exactly 100 in Bangladesh’s win over Australia at Cardiff in the 2005 NatWest Series, possibly one of the greatest upsets in sporting history. During the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he made 87 from 83 balls against the ICC ODI Championship world number 1 ranked South African team, helping his team clinch a 67 run win, with Ashraful being named the Man of the Match. With 216 runs at an average of 24, he was Bangladesh’s highest run scorer in the World Cup. To date, Ashraful is Bangladesh’s second highest run-scorer in ODIs, behind Habibul Bashar.
When not playing with the national team, Ashraful plays domestic cricket for the Dhaka Division cricket team in Bangladesh’s domestic one-day and First-class competitions, captaining both sides on occasion but with no real regularity. In November 2006 he set a league record score of 263, against Chittagong Division for Bangladeshi First-class cricket – although this record has since been bettered by Raqibul Hasan. Ashraful also captains Sonargaon Cricketers, a club in the Dhaka Premier League. He became captain at a crucial period as his team were placed at the bottom and turned team with a second place finish at the end of the season. He played for Rainhill CC in a local cricket league in UK.
Although Bangladesh performed well under the captaincy of Habibul Bashar in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the Bangladesh Cricket Board decided to replace Bashar as the national team ODI captain after losing 2-0 to a touring Indian side in May 2007. There was a lot of criticism of the BCB for their decision from many cricket pundits, including the departing national coach Dav Whatmore, who believed the change was unnecessary. Bashar agreed to step down from the post of ODI captaincy but insisted that he wanted to remain as the national Test captain, but after losing the Test series in the same Indian tour of Bangladesh, the BCB also decided to replace him as Test captain.
The two favourites for the captain’s role were Shahriar Nafees (who was vice-captain at the time) and Ashraful. Perhaps due to Nafees’s poor form in both the World Cup and the India series the board awarded the captaincy to Ashraful – becoming the second youngest captain of an international cricket team at 22 – with Mashrafe Mortaza replacing Shahriar Nafees as vice-captain of the team.
Ashraful and Mortaza took on these roles from the start of the Sri Lanka tour in June 2007. High hopes were placed on the shoulders of Ashraful by the Bangladeshi fans to motivate the team during the tour, but Bangladesh lost all three of the Test matches by large margins of an innings and 234 runs, an innings and 90 runs and an innings and 193 runs respectively, Ashraful scored a century in the second test.
•Ashraful’s family given nickname is Matin but his teammates call him Ash (short for Ashraful), a nickname given to him by former Bangladesh coach and South African international Eddie Barlow.
•He and Bangladesh teammate and opener Shahriar Nafees are very good friends, having been trained by the same coach in the BKSP when they were young.
•3 of 4 of his Test centuries were against Sri Lanka. The other was against India.
•Ashraful has been caught out more than any other dismissal types in both Tests and ODIs.
•In Tests, he has been dismissed most by Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka , Muraltharan has dismissed Ashraful 6 times. In ODIs he has been dismissed most by Dilhara Fernando of Sri Lanka, who has dismissed Ashraful four times.
•In 1997, Sourav Ganguly came to Dhaka to open Amarjyoti cricket club where 12 year old Ashraful met him and asked him for an autograph and a photo, little that either of them knew that they would be playing against each other in the future. When India toured Bangladesh in 2007, Ashraful went up to the Indian team’s dinner table in Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka where Ganguly was seated with his team-mates and showed him and the other Indian players the picture.
•He started his cricket career as a leg-spinner who could bat.
Mohammad Ashraful player profile
Ashraful’s poor run of form: Ashraful off to Liverpool for league cricket
Ashraful is Bangla’s little master
Mohammad Ashraful’s Profile on BanglaCricket
Ashraful’s battle to make his mark by S.Rajesh
*Acknowledgements to Cricinfo.com, Banglacricket.com, Wikipedia.org,