Mohammad Ashraful

Full name Mohammad Ashraful

Born July 7, 1984, Dhaka

Current age 25 years 21 days

Major teams Bangladesh, Asia XI, Dhaka Division, Dhaka Metropolis, Mumbai Indians

Also known as Ashraful Matin

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Legbreak

On September 8, 2001, at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, Mohammad
Ashraful turned a terrible mismatch into a slice of history by becoming
the youngest man – or boy – to make a Test century. Bangladesh still
crashed to heavy defeat, but “Matin” brought hope and consolation withashraful and his wife
a sparkling hundred, repeatedly dancing down to hit the Sri Lankan
spinners, including Muralitharan, back over their heads … and on his
debut, too.

It was the day before his 17th birthday according to some
sources, and 63 days after it according to most others: either way, he
broke the long-standing record set by Mushtaq Mohammad (17 years 82
days) when he made 101 for Pakistan against India in 1960-61.
Inevitably, such a heady early achievement proved hard to live up to,
and after a prolonged poor run Ashraful was dropped for England’s first
visit in October 2003.

He returned to the side a better player, but no
less flamboyant, as he demonstrated with a glorious unbeaten 158 in
defeat against India at Chittagong late in 2004. Still not 21 when
Bangladesh made their maiden tour of England the following year,
Ashraful confirmed his status as one for the future at Cardiff, when
his brilliantly paced century set Bangladesh up for their astonishing
victory over Australia in the NatWest Series.

But Ashraful didn’t
fulfil his evident potential on the tour of Sri Lanka that followed,
often getting out to loose shots, and made little impact against the
Australians early in 2006 either. An extended run of poor form forced
the management to drop Ashraful for the final qualifying match of the
Champions Trophy against Zimbabwe. He was also omitted from the squadmohamaad ashraful
for the home series against Zimbabwe in December but was immediately
recalled after slamming 263 for Dhaka Division against Chittagong
Division in the domestic four-day competition. He was appointed
Bangladesh’s captain in June 2007 at the tender age of 22. The next two
years turned out to be the toughest in his career.

Bangladesh failed to win a Test under his leadership, and save for ODI victories against Sri
Lanka and New Zealand, the team continued to under-perform in all
formats. His batting form too suffered in the process but he never
expressed his wish to relinquish the captaincy. After a disappointing
campaign in the World Twenty20 in 2009, the board decided to relieve
him of his duties to let him focus on his batting.

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