Still among the fittest
Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful, who completed a five-year international ban for his involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League in August this year, scored an impressive 11.4 in the beep test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has initiated a fitness programme for all the members of the participating teams in the upcoming National Cricket League, where Ashraful has been impressing for Dhaka Metroplis.
Two cricketers scored over 12 while Ashraful and two others finished on 11.4. Ashraful also surpassed two former national teammates Shamsur Rahman (11.2) and Marshall Ayub (10.7). Any score over 11 is rated as good.
Ashraful returned to domestic and first-class competitions after serving a seperate three-year ban and the right-hander enjoyed his time in last season's Dhaka Premier League with Kalabagan KC, striking five hundreds.
However there were questions over his low strike rate despite those centuries and according to 34-year-old, improving his fitness will have a positive effect on his strike rate as well. Ashraful has been hard at work in the gym since the conclusion of the DPL and has been able to shed eight kilograms over the past three months.
"I have been preparing for the last three months to take part in the National Cricket League and wanted to take my fitness to international standards. It requires a lot of mental toughness when you work on your fitness. I followed a strict diet and minimised consuming rice," Ashraful told reporters yesterday.