I want to focus on TV analysis and coaching- Mohammad Ashraful

Former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful feels Bangladesh Premier League could not flourish as an iconic tournament due to Bangladesh Cricket Board’s lack of planning. The 39-year-old is not ready to expand his career as a cricketer and now shifted his focus to analyzing matches on TV screens as well as focus on coaching. During an exclusive interview with Kriknews he disclosed his future plan.

Here are the excerpts:

Q: During the ICC World Cup in India and then in the home series against New Zealand held in the later part of November, we found you playing a role as an analyst for T-Sports. At the same time, we also come to know that you are also set to start your career as a coach?
Ashraful: I want to focus on both right now. May be I will be T-Sports during the entire Bangladesh Premier League. I will be analyzing the games before they start, in the middle, and also after they conclude. Yes, I am looking to stay with cricket coaching and analysis for the rest of my life.

Q: How much are you enjoying your current role?
Ashraful: Of course, I am enjoying it. And I am aiming to be involved with cricket until my last breath; simultaneously, I also consider it an opportunity. In fact, I have been following the match analysis since my boyhood, as I was in close touch with cricket. Even I had a stint with Jamuna TV during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. And during this edition of the ICC World Cup, I also worked as an analyst for T-Sports. In fact, I enjoy it. And the reason why I also opted for coaching is that I want to share my experience gained throughout my career in cricket. I want to teach the boys how to build an inning and how to make it large. I would also up-skill them by letting them know the ups and downs of a cricketer that I have experienced in my 27 years of being a cricketer.

Q: The BPL is all set to start on January 19. Nevertheless, we found the carelessness of the BCB in many sections. How would you address it?

Ashraful: In fact, we [BCB] are habituated to do everything at the eleventh hour. If I am not mistaken, this is going to be our tenth edition of the country’s lone T20 extravaganza. It is really unfortunate that the BCB still couldn’t arrange it in the structured manner it should have. If you take a look at the IPL, after the completion of ten years of the meet, its franchises were able to become the owners of a venue. They have prepared ten new stadiums. Each and every one of their venues has been bestowed with the new grounds. However, we wholly failed in this respect. Other than the Rangpur Riders, no other franchise could own a venue as of yet since 2012. In fact, we never found a team that has been continuing in the tournament for the last ten years. Comilla [the Victorians] is the only team that has been playing for the last six years. However, they even failed to own a ground. The bottom line is that we couldn’t provide that kind of facility to our franchise owners. Sorry to say that, but it is still unknown to me when the BPL authority will start to act like a professional body. We are waiting for that point. It is also a matter of worry that the respective franchises are hardly seen as getting an acceptable sponsor.

Q: We are yet to find a fan base in BPL. The fans of the nation can claim their icon player for a longer period of time; they even don’t own a jersey! Why?
Ashraful: In fact, the BPL started losing its glamour soon after its two consecutive editions. After that, it is just taking place. If you take a look across the globe, there are three to four Franchise competitions being played at a time. I think we are running BPL just because we need to.
About fan base: look, Shakib Al Hasan is from the Khulna division; if he would feature for Khulna in that, you could expect a fan base in BPL. Nevertheless, in one season he is playing for Barishal, whereas in the next he is playing for Dhaka. So how could you expect a fan base?


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