Part of the infamous spot-fixing scandal in 2010, fast bowler Mohammad Asif is confident that he can make a comeback for Pakistan soon and hopefully play cricket for the national side for three to four years.
Asif is currently in Oslo and is playing for a local club ‘Christiania Cricket Club’. Although he feels that the competition here is not that stiff but at least he is back in the fray and wants to prove a point through his stint in Norway.
“One of my friends called me to ask me to come and play some cricket,” Asif says in an interview with espncricinfo.com “There’s good weather for training – that’s why I came here.
“The cricketing standard is not too high but it’s still cricket.
“You can’t get spikes on! It’s not a proper pitch for cricket. I’m enjoying playing here and working on my fitness levels.” The conditions, far removed from those he is used to, are “tough for bowling”.
The fast bowler was not too keen on talking about his past as it was a difficult time and he is now focused on playing cricket and nothing else.
“That was a very difficult time but difficult times pass. Now I’m okay. It was three years ago,” he says.
“That’s in the past; I don’t want to talk too much about that. I just want to play cricket.” When asked if he would like to apologise to the fans, having only admitted his guilt in 2013, his riposte is: “I have already done that in Pakistan many times.”
Asif was happy to see Amir return in Pakistan colours and was hopeful that he can give tough time to English batsmen along with other bowlers. Asif also made himself available for the tours of New Zealand and Australia as he feels he is 100% fit and can play cricket for Pakistan soon.
“I’m happy for him, and for my team it’s a big tour in England. England is playing well now, but we’ve got a good bowling side – better than Sri Lanka’s – so hopefully Amir, Yasir Shah and Wahab Riaz will give England a tough time.”
“Hopefully I will do well in Pakistan and get selected for the national team for the tours to New Zealand and Australia.” He declares himself “100% sure I will play again”.
“The dream is just to come back to play for three to four years. I want to play a good standard of cricket again – that’s my dream.”
“After five years there are many hurdles in front of you,” he reflects. “I’m looking to the future, not the past. Those things have happened and it’s gone, so I’m looking forward to playing good cricket.”
Asif admitted that he made mistakes in the past but he now willing to help out with the anti-corruption work and offered his services to the ICC.
“I’ve admitted my mistakes. We do lectures in Pakistan with young kids,” he says. “Whenever they want me to go somewhere and lecture about corruption, I’m available. They haven’t asked me yet at the moment, but I told them I will help anytime, whenever they want.”
“Every human being can make mistakes. They’ve given us punishment and after the punishment everybody has a right to play. Cricket is my life.” Now he wants to embarrass batsmen with his dexterous wrists once more. “In my hands the ball will talk, not me.”