Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said he would have recalled Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews after the Timed Out dismissal during their World Cup match in New Delhi last week.
“If I was leading, I would have thought long before appealing, and then I would have withdrawn it if he had a genuine reason for the delay,” Ashraful said on Saturday. “Primarily because he is no longer a dangerous player and him being on the field would have hardly mattered in the outcome of the match.”
Ashraful, who has returned to domestic cricket after serving a five-year ban for his involvement in the Bangladesh Premier League corruption scandal in 2013, sympathised with Shakib Al Hasan, the current Bangladesh captain, for his decision in the controversial dismissal.
“At that moment, Bangladesh was desperate for two points with an eye on the Champions Trophy. That is what Shakib was thinking,” Ashraful said.
“When we played New Zealand (in September in Bangladesh), Hasan Mahmud ran out (Ish) Sodhi (for backing too far) at the non-striker’s end, but Litton (Das) called him back. Sodhi hit two sixes thereafter and we lost the match. At that time, (it was) no problem. But this time, everybody was thinking about the Champions Trophy.”
Ashraful had no qualms in speaking about serving the ban after being involved in the BPL corruption scandal. His eight-year ban, imposed in 2013, was reduced by three years before he made a return to domestic cricket. He feels the modern generation is susceptible to corruption approaches with the emergence of T20 leagues.
“I spoke openly about everything. I was honest after what happened. That is why I am comfortable now. If I had not spoken openly, probably I would have felt guilty. And because I said everything openly, even those who hated me, accepted me,” said Ashraful, in India as a television expert for a Bangladeshi sports channel.
“Everyone can make mistakes. We are humans, not angels. When someone falls and gets back, we need to support them. With the rise of franchise cricket, it has become difficult for players to deal with approaches. My only suggestion is that the player has to be honest. There will definitely be approaches made, you have to inform the captain and the team management.”
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