Bangladesh dismayed by Ashraful scandal
Bangladesh cricket fans, players and newspapers reacted with shock and dismay today to the tearful confession by former national captain Mohammad Ashraful that he had been involved in match-fixing.
Ashraful, who became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17, on Tuesday apologised for his wrongdoing and said he had detailed his role in fixing to anti-corruption officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The news made the front pages of all Bangladesh’s national newspapers with The Daily Star’s front page showing a photograph of weeping Ashraful next to a headline that read ‘People’s prince turns pauper’. Another English daily, New Age, ran a story under the headline ‘The rise and fall of a superstar’.
Faruque Ahmed, the national chief selector when Ashraful was made captain in 2007, said he was the finest cricketer the country had ever produced.
‘He was the first mega-star for Bangladesh cricket and this is very shocking and sad news, especially when he confessed his involvement in corruption,’ Ahmed said.
A former coach of the the right-handed big-hitter said he could not understand why Ashraful became involved with fixing.‘I am shocked, hurt with his public confession. I knew him for many years. I did not see any bad element in him when I coached him’ when he was a child, Waheedul Gani said. Legions of the cricketers followers also spoke of their disappointment.