View Full Version : Bad boy Ashraful... Nonetheless as agreed by all, the first superstar of Bangladesh Cricket

April 9, 2006, 02:44 PM
He is the first superstar of Bangladeshi cricket, here is an insight published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 9th of April edition. It is particularly revealing about the present mindset of ashraful and the future of Bangladesh team that he forsees and also his goals. I found it quite interesting.

Source (http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/bad-boy-ashraful-out-to-give-aussie-attack-a-shakeup/2006/04/08/1143916766368.html)

Bad boy Ashraful out to give Aussie attack a shake-up

Mohammad Ashraful has made his mark, Nabila Ahmed writes from Dhaka.

WHEN Mohammad Ashraful walks, there is a definite swagger. When he talks, he is instantly engaging.

When he runs into admirers in the lobby of his team's plush hotel, he is polite and charming, meeting a mother with the traditional Muslim greeting, a little girl with a pinch of her cheeks and leaving teenage girls swooning in his wake.

He wears a crisp, navy T-shirt to the interview, emblazoned with the words "Don't drink and drive - you might hit a bump and spill your drink".

He is known as a bad boy, struggling to keep his head amid the adulation of the masses and constant attention from women.

Coach Dav Whatmore admits to being frustrated that he doesn't make better use of his extraordinary talents.

All, however, agree on one thing: at 21, Ashraful is Bangladesh's first true star.

Growing up playing street cricket and admiring Sachin Tendulkar, Ashraful, it seems, was destined for this.

He first came to the attention of the Bangladesh Cricket Board in primary school, and gave an inkling of his ability on his Test debut, striking a sweet century against Muttiah Muralitharan's Sri Lankan side.

But it was not until he was dropped from the team that he began to take cricket seriously.

"I went home and my mother said, 'Why don't you forget about cricket and go back to school and start concentrating on your studies?"' Ashraful says. "There was no way I was doing that. It made me change."

He returned to the team and struck 98 in a Test against Zimbabwe, later clinching man-of-the-match in a one-dayer with an unbeaten half-century.

Then, at 20, Ashraful truly announced himself to the world, with a magnificent, mature century against Australia in that game in Cardiff last year.

Reaching 100 and with one of cricket's greatest upsets assured, Ashraful bent down on all fours in the Muslim prayer stance and touched his forehead to the ground in a thankful bow to Allah.

Now, on the eve of Bangladesh's historic home series against Australia, he says it was a new beginning.

"Before that I played two Tests against England and in the first match I made a duck and in the two Test matches, I played no good," he said.

"I was watching TV in the innings break [in Cardiff] and they showed my stats.

"I was thinking that I started at a very early age and I had played a lot of matches before I really understood anything.

"In my first two years, I played shots early, the crowd applauded, and I got out.

"I was seeing the stats on TV and thinking, 'If only I could start anew'. My teammates said, 'Why don't you start in this match from zero?' When I got out to bat, I thought, 'If I don't score for five or six overs, still I would stay at the wicket'. I tried and when I got to 30, I thought, 'This is my day. I haven't got many runs before, so today, I will make a big score'."

The result was beyond his wildest expectations but when Bangladesh walk out onto the Narayanganj Osmani Stadium in provincial Fatullah for their first home Test against Australia today, it will be a far more confident Ashraful who will take guard against Brett Lee and Shane Warne.

"I am not nervous, nothing," he said. "What's the point of being nervous?"

But Ashraful, who has sought advice from Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh, is not confident enough to think Bangladesh might challenge Australia in the Tests.

"Tests will be difficult but in one-dayers, we can be in the top five in the next four or five years," he said.

"We have won at least one match in our last three series and now, if we get Australia out for 250 in the first innings in the one-dayer, we can do it now.

"My goal is to take Bangladesh to the top like Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga did in Sri Lanka.

"They took their country to the top of the world and now everyone knows Sri Lankan cricket. The same thing I think about and want to do."

Ashraful says that if Bangladesh beat Australia this month, 144 million people would celebrate "like [we're] world champions", conceding that at times it is hard to live up to the nation's expectations.

"The problem is that as soon as I get a big score, a hundred, that's when people expect more," he said.

"They say, 'You must make a century'. But I am always polite, and talk nicely and ask them to pray for me, for our team."

April 9, 2006, 02:50 PM
hmm.... apatoto amra Shahriar nafis ke niye basto.... lol...
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