Thought of committing suicide after getting banned for spot-fixing: Mohammad Ashraful

Ashraful changed his mindset after going to Hajj.

Mohammad Ashraful
Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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On June 18, 2014, Bangladesh cricket witnessed one of its worst days as the then skipper Mohammad Ashraful got banned by BPL anti-corruption tribunal for eight years for his involvement in spot-fixing during the second edition of Bangladesh Premier League, which was held in 2013.

The tribunal also banned Dhaka Gladiators’ managing director Shihab Chowdhury for 10 years with three-year backdated suspension for fixing. Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent was also banned for three years. Sri Lanka batsman Kaushal Lokuarachchi got an 18-month ban for also failing to report a bookie approach.

Speaking about the time he got banned, Mohammad Ashraful has admitted that he thought of committing suicide at one point of time, however, he later changed his mind after going for Hajj, “At one point I thought I would rather commit suicide than leading this life. Then I go for Hajj. Going to Hajj changed my mindset,” Ashraful told Cricfrenzy.

My brother-in-law motivated me: Mohammad Ashraful

The former captain has further said that he shared his thoughts of contemplating suicide with his brother-in-law, who in turn, motivated him by giving an example of former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who also went through some tough time during his career.

“I shared these thoughts with my brother-in-law [Mojibul Alam] and he did the right thing by ridiculing me. He told me that even a great player like Azharuddin has gone through such hardships. The public and the fans will be upset, but I would have to soldier through it,” he added.

Ashraful went on to explain his feeling after getting banned for spot-fixing. He felt that everyone saw him like a criminal and even his closed ones turned away from him and he found it very tough to show his face in public. In August 2016, BCB partially lifted his ban allowing him to play domestic cricket, only in Bangladesh. In 2018, he became eligible to play international cricket as well.

“I still remember what mental harassment it was. Everyone knows I’ve committed a crime, I have done wrong, fixed a match. Very naturally I was a criminal in everyone’s eyes then. Everyone started looking with curved eyes. Many close people also moved away. Some of the loved ones turned away. I always thought, how can I survive in such a situation, how do I show my face in public, what should I tell my family, what will happen to them, how will I cover up the social stigma which will happen to me and my family,” he concluded.