Monday, 17 March 2008

Ashraful lashes out!

For better or worse, the fans have always stood by the national cricketers. But it seems even they have reached their breaking-point especially as the performance of the Tigers during the South Africa series hit new lows every time they took to the field.
Their frustration however boiled over on Sunday and caused beleaguered Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful, who was on the receiving end during the Test and ODI whitewash against the Proteas, to finally snap and he lashed out at a fan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium after he was jeered.
Witnesses said, fans, who were watching the Premier Twenty20 Cricket final in the gallery, started booing when they saw Ashraful walking past them through a narrow gate inside the stadium on his way to the adjacent indoor complex for net practice.
The Bangladesh captain kept put his gears on the stairs before jumping into the gallery and grabbing the fan by the scruff of the neck and slapped the poor fellow before anyone realised anything had happened. The fan was later identified as Jalal, a garments worker in Mirpur.
Police and the officials of the Bangladesh Cricket Board quickly intervened and took Ashraful away from the agitated fans. But it did not calm the situation as they started chanting slogans and demanded an unconditional apology from Ashraful.
Police immediately nabbed Jalal but were forced to release him to pacify the mob, who continued to agitate. Police however kept Jalals identity card. A guardian of Jalal rushed to the stadium hearing the news and apologised to Ashraful on his behalf. Jalal also said sorry later and promised not to boo the cricketer in future.
Ashraful particularly came under the wrath of the fans after scoring just 17 runs in three-match one-day series against South Africa that ended on February 14. Ashraful declined to comment on the incident.
Last week, vice-captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza was also involved in an altercation with a fan who had been watching him from the other side of the fence when he was bowling in the nets.

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