Mash tips Ashraful to rediscover form

A file photo from March 5, 2018 shows Kalabagan batsman Mohammad Ashraful playing a shot during their Dhaka Premier League match at the BKSP. — Courtesy photo

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful revealed on Wednesday that tips from fast bowler Mashrafee bin Murtaza helped him rediscover his form in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League.
The 33-year old former Bangladesh skipper had a fabulous run in this year’s DPL, where he struck three hundreds and scored 460 runs in 11 matches for Kalabagan Krira Chakra.
Before the start of the league, Ashraful had only five hundreds in his List A career in 17 years and he added three to his tally in just two months.
Though his runs could not save his side Kalabagan from finishing the first phase of the league at the bottom, it took him in the limelight for the first time since his spot-fixing ban was partially lifted in 2016.
Ashraful however had poor run of form at the start of the league when he could score just 151 runs in the first six matches, which included one century.
It took him on verge of getting dropped from the side before his late show took him to the spotlight.
‘I was not fit in the first stage,’ Ashraful told New Age on Wednesday. ‘Then I spoke to Mashrafee and he suggested me to change my diet habit. I controlled my eating habit by this time and it helped me improve my concentration level,’ he said.
‘I had to be mentally strong more than any other time. I tried to convert my scores into big ones and Alhamdulillah I was successful,’ he added.
Ashraful was often criticised for lack of conversion rate but most astonishingly this year he converted three out of his four 50-plus innings into hundreds, which helped him finish 11th in the list of most scorers after the first round.
As Kalabagan will play two more matches in relegation play-off Ashraful was hopeful of continuing his form.
‘My target was to score 3-4 centuries in the first round. If you can score hundreds then you can attract the attention.
‘I would be happier if I could get more runs. I could not have done well in some matches. Above all, if my team could qualify for the Super Six round then it would have been great for me.’
The youngest Test centurion will be eligible to play for the national side from August 13 this year after completing his five-year ban for his role in 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
Ashraful said he was not thinking about getting back into national team as he was only focusing on playing well in domestic cricket.
‘I am not thinking about the national team now. My main target is to score big runs.
‘I have two more matches and I really want to score big runs,’ he added.

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