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Ashraful back in BPL fold after match-fixing ban ends

Former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad 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.

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.

”He obtained more than 11 in the beep test, and it suggests his improvement as far as his fitness is concerned,” Minhajul told Cricfeedz.

Vikings owner Abdul Wahed cleared the air regarding Ashraful, saying the franchise was keen to take him as it believed Ashraful possessed his match-changing abilities. “We were keen to get him as we believe he had learnt from the mistake and we need to provide him with a platform to perform,” Wahed told reporters after the draft session. ”Earlier we had picked Mohammad Amir once he was eligible to play after that fixing saga, and he returned back to the national set-up and we believe the same will happen to Ashraful as well.”

The draft overall lost its charm after Mushfiqur Rahim had been allocated to Chittagong Vikings even before the draft took place. The difference in pay structure also was a highlight as the local A+ category was slated between USD 50,000 to 93,000 while on the same category, foreigners were slated at the price of USD 2,00,000.

It was a conscious effort BPL took to attract foreign cricketers as the league’s timing coincides with the Big Bash.

“If you see that the participants, their willingness to participate clearly shows that BPL is becoming quite popular outside Bangladesh,” said Nazmul Hasan, BCB chief. ”There are Big Bash and other tournaments but we still managed to attract some of the biggest names.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jahurul Islam was the draft’s first overall pick after Khulna Titans opted for his services in the upcoming edition. Windies all-rounder Fabian Allen grabbed all the highlights when Sylhet Sixers went after him after for USD 30,000 after being allowed to take the first foreign pick in the draft, in the lottery-based player’s recruitment process.

Rangpur Riders coach Tom Moody believes that they were quite successful in their picking and believe it would be good enough to replicate a similar performance in the upcoming edition. ‘It’s nice to be the holders but next year, it’s going to be a completely different tournament and tonight we had planning and preparing for next year,” said Moody, who had secured the services of Chris Gayle by retaining him while picking Alex Hales and AB De Villiers.

Squads for BPL 2019:

Rangpur Riders: Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, AB de Villiers, Shafiul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Maruf, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Nahidul Islam, Nadif Chowdhury, Abul Hasan, Fardin Hossain, Benny Howell, Oshane Thomas

Khulna Titans: Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Malan, Ali Khan, Jahurul Islam, Shariful Islam, Taijul Islam, Al-Amin, Zahir Khan, Sherfane Rutherford, Subashis Roy, Junaid Siddique, Tanvir Islam, Mahidul Islam Ankan, Lasith Malinga, Yasir Shah, Brendan Taylor

Rajshahi Kings: Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Zakir Hasan, Qais Ahmed, Christiaan Jonker, Soumya Sarkar, Fazle Mahmud, Arafat Sunny, Alauddin Babu, Isuru Udana, Laurie Evans, Marshall Ayub, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Ryan ten Doeschate, Seekugge Prasanna, Mohammad Sami

Chittagong Vikings: Sunzamul Islam, Sikandar Raza, Luke Ronchi, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Shahzad, Robbie Frylinck, Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Cameron Delport, Dasun Shanaka, Mohammad Ashraful, Robiul Haque, Yasir Ali, Nihaduzzaman, Najibullah Zadran, Shadman Islam

Dhaka Dynamites: Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Hazratullah Zazai, Andre Russell, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Shuvagata Hom, Andrew Birch, Ian Bell, Qazi Onik, Mizanur Rahman, Asif Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Naim Sheikh

Sylhet Sixers: Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das, Sohail Tanvir, David Warner, Sandeep Lamichhane, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Towhid Hridoy, Fabian Allen, Mohammad Irfan, Nabil Samad, Ebadat Hossain, Alok Kapali, Jaker Ali, Gulbadin Naib, Andre Fletcher, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Pat Brown, Nicholas Pooran

Comilla Victorians: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoaib Malik, Asela Gunaratne, Liam Dawson, Abu Hider, Anamul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Ziaur Rahman, Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Mosharraf Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Shamsur Rahman, Sanjit Saha, Evin Lewis, Waqar Salamkheil, Amer Yamin

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