Mohammad Asif opens up on his tainted international career
In a recent conversation with ESPN, the former Pakistan bowler Mohammad Asif asserted he has regrets about how his career took a massive turn. However, the 37-year-old is satisfied with the impact he made while representing Pakistan. Asif revealed that there were players who fixed matches before him, but they were able to make a comeback with the help of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"Everyone has regrets in their life and a few talk about them, but I am fine. Everyone makes mistakes and I did too. Players had been indulging in fixing before me and even after me. But those before me are working with PCB," Asif said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) slapped Asif with a lengthy ban for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England. His team-mates Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt were also involved in the fiasco. Asif, who is still deemed one of the best Pakistan seam bowlers, was banned for seven years. Meanwhile, Amir and Butt received suspensions for five and ten years respectively.
Asif finished his career with 106 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 24.36. The prodigious tally included seven five-wicket hauls. In ODIs, Asif scalped 46 wickets from 38 matches. He also starred in the inaugural World T20 in 2007.
Asif stated the appreciation from veteran cricketers makes him elated, despite having regrets. "Even today, so many years later, the best batsmen in the world still remember me and they talk about me. Just think how big the impact I had on the world," he said. He added, "There is a reason KP, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla talk highly about me."
Asif slammed the board for not trying to pull him out of the spot-fixing scandal. "PCB never tried to save me regardless of the fact that I am the kind of bowler who was highly regarded by everyone in the world," he said. He added, "However much I played in my career, I made it count. I shook up the world."