Tainted former Pakistani seamer Mohammad Asif spoke up about his International career and revealed how the Pakistan Cricket Board have shielded Cricketers who were involved in fixing before and after the 2010 fiasco in England, giving them a second chance.
In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Asif, when asked whether he has regrets about the way his career ended, the 37 year old answered with honesty and grace, “Of course. My ambition was to finish my career on a better note and I do have regrets. But that’s a different story. I think whatever happened it had to happen and that’s okay. Everyone has regrets in their life and a few want to talk about them, but I think I am fine. Everyone makes mistakes and I did too.”
The likes of Kevin Pietersen, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have had high regard for the Sheikhupura born seamer. Kevin Pietersen, who was dismissed by Asif five times in International Cricket, recently said so in an interview, when he was asked to name the toughest bowlers he faced. Expressing his gratitude, Asif said that it gives him immense pleasure that Cricketers of such calibre have held him in such high standards.
Asif, who has 105 wickets in 22 Test matches, considers the fact that despite having such a short career, he made it count, he made an impact in the game of Cricket. He said, “What happened is history. However much I played in my career, I made it count, duniya hila ke rakh de thi (I took the Cricketing World by storm). That is more important for me to think about. 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 was that I had on the world. So this is what makes me proud, that there is a reason KP, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla talk highly about me. That is what makes me happy.”
Although he said that he is not hung up on the past, Asif claimed that they are Cricketers who have been involved in fixing in Cricket matches still working with the PCB. While Asif did not get the backing from the board to prove himself on the Cricket field again, the others did.
Asif, the first bowler to bowl a maiden over in T20I history, said, “Players had been indulging in fixing before me and even after me. But those before me are working with PCB and there are few after me still playing. Everyone was given a second chance and there are few who never got the same treatment. 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. But anyway I’m not sitting around brooding about the past or hung up on it.”