|© UNICEF Bangladesh/2009/Naser Siddique|
|Ashraful campaigns to increase awareness of HIV at a drop-in-centre for drug users in Dhaka.|
The youngest player ever to score a test century in an international match, Ashraful play for the Bangladesh national cricket team.
Mohammad Ashraful was born 7 July 1984 in Dhaka. His elder cousin, who played for Dhaka 2nd Division Cricket League, encouraged the young Ashraful to try his hand at the game. He was a natural.
One day, Ashraful came across a newspaper advertisement for the Bangladesh Cricket Control Board under-12 camp. Without telling his parents, Ashraful submitted his application. He was selected for the camp.
Ashraful never missed camp, travelling a considerable distance two or three times a week to reach training. His perseverance and skill impressed one coach who invited Ashraful to train under him.
In 1997 following an impressive try-out, Ashraful was selected to join the Bangladesh under-13 team for a tour of India. However, he was dropped at the last minute because selectors felt he was too small.
None of these difficulties deterred the young cricketer. At the age of 16, Ashraful achieved his dream to join the national team.
On 8 September 2001 in Sri Lanka, Ashraful made history as the youngest cricketer to score a test century in an international match.
In 2007, at the age of 22, Ashraful was made captain of the Bangladesh national cricket team.
Ashraful’s work for UNICEF includes campaigning to stop violence against children and visiting adolescent drug-users at a drop-in centre in Dhaka.