Mohammad Ashraful targets Bangladesh comeback after five-year ban ends

Mohammad Ashraful
Ashraful became Bangladesh's youngest Test centurion in 2001

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is targeting an international return after the end of a five-year ban for match-fixing.

The 34-year-old was suspended for eight years in 2014 for fixing matches in the 2013 Bangladesh Twenty20 Premier League but this was reduced to five on appeal.

"I'm feeling nice as I was waiting for this day," Ashraful told AFP.

"[I told myself] when August 13, 2018 came I would be available for national team again."

Ashraful became his country's youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17, and has played 23 Twenty20 internationals, 61 Tests, and 177 one-day internationals, including captaining his side between 2007 and 2009.

He has been able to play in domestic first-class and List A cricket in his homeland after the Bangladesh Cricket Board partially lifted his ban in 2016.

However, he remained suspended from international and franchise-based T20 cricket.

"Over the last five years I never felt I wouldn't be able to come back. I never lacked this confidence. I always felt I would come back," he said.

Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin has said that Ashraful must prove his form and fitness if he wants to get back into the national team.

"Of course it will be tough to get a chance in the Bangladesh team," added Ashraful.

"Still I think if I can perform. There is plenty of room for me to serve Bangladesh team. This is what I believe."