Ashraful targets low-key comeback
Mohammad Ashraful wants to return to the Bangladesh fold for the Test series against England - but this time without the pressure of top billing.
Ashraful has long been considered the Tigers' most mercurial batting talent but has flourished only intermittently since scoring a century on his Test debut at the age of 17.
Now 26 and already a former Bangladesh captain, Ashraful believes there are enough proven international players in the side for him to return with less of a burden.
He opted out of the recent one-day series against England after a run of indifferent form but is captaining Bangladesh A in a three-day match against the tourists in Chittagong starting tomorrow.
And from that platform he hopes to continue on into the Test side.
"In the past there has been a lot of pressure but now we have a lot of match-winners in the side," he said.
"Now I am just one of the players who has to perform; before it was big pressure.
"When we beat the big teams in the past, I sometimes played brilliant cricket, but now we have four or five match-winners, everybody wants to perform, so I need to step up again."
Indeed, far from being worn down by his experiences, Ashraful is eager to force his way into the Test side next week and begin a new chapter in his career.
"I have experience of Test cricket so, if I feel good and I bat well, they will select me," he said.
"This is definitely a new start. I'm 26 so, if I’m fit enough, I can play another 10 years or more.
"For the last nine years I have been up and down so now I need to perform regularly. My best time is still left I think."