"I threw it away. I made mistakes, I broke hearts, I upset my fans" : Mohammad Asif


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    "I threw it away. I made mistakes, I broke hearts, I upset my fans" : Mohammad Asif

    In an interview with Saj for Wisden Cricket Magazine, former Pakistan pace-bowler Mohammad Asif looks back at his career, his recollections of working with the Late Bob Woolmer, the infamous events of 2010, his issues with Shoaib Akhtar, his most cherished wicket-taking memories, career highs and lows, the disappointment of not being picked again for Pakistan after the completion of his ban and how he wants to be remembered as a bowler.



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  5. #5
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    I wanted to play cricket professionally from a young age and had my mind set on being a professional cricketer even when I was at school when most other boys were concentrating on their studies. I had a passion for the game right from my school days before going on to play club cricket in my home city of Sheikhupura for the Gymkhana club when I was just 15 years of age. I was lucky to have been blessed with a lot of talent which meant that for most of my early years in cricket I was playing against players who were a couple of years older than me and this continued right up to the Regional Under-19 level before I progressed to First-Class cricket.


    The things I learnt at the start of my career at Sheikhupura Gymkhana helped me throughout my career. They were difficult, yet enjoyable days and it was a tough environment to exist in, where you had to be a damn good bowler even to get into the starting XIs at Sheikhupura. Nothing came easy to me and I had to work hard to get where I was. There were guys like Rana Naved, Jaffar Nazir and many other pace-bowlers from that area who were all competing for places, so to get into that team was an achievement in itself. I believe that competitive environment really helped me develop as a bowler and I learnt the value of hard work from a young age. I would turn up a couple of hours before scheduled practice sessions and work with the coaches and if nobody was around, then I would just head to the nets and bowl delivery after delivery. We played twenty over cricket on cement pitches with short boundaries and they were conditions which were ideal for batting, so as a bowler if you didn’t know how to swing the ball or were unable to bowl skilfully and with variety you would get smashed all over the park. Those were the days where I feel I learnt a lot about myself and quickly learnt the art of bowling and handling pressure.


    I had a routine, where ahead of the commencement of any season, I would start practising a month or two in advance, even when the temperatures were very hot. It helped build my stamina and meant that I could bowl long spells if needed throughout the season as I always felt that strength and stamina should never be underestimated as a pace-bowler. Also, my practice regime was different to most bowlers in that I would concentrate on one delivery all day. One day would be a day where I just bowled outswingers and tried to perfect that delivery, another day it would be inswingers, another day it would be bouncers or yorkers. It was a tough training regime that really worked for me throughout my career.


    I played in the North West of England for Ainsdale cricket club near Liverpool and that was a great experience. I was just a young man, learning about life, in a foreign land on my own. It was daunting at times, yet very enjoyable. I was there playing as an overseas professional and carrying the hopes of my team and I was expected to earn every penny and ensure that the club got their money’s worth from me. I learnt a lot when playing club cricket in England and had to mature quickly, whilst at the same time it taught me a lot of things about life, about people and it was an experience that I always look back on with interest. I always recommend playing club cricket overseas to young bowlers as it really does help in your development. I feel that too many of the young Pakistani bowlers of today are pampered and miss out on their development by not playing club cricket in the United Kingdom.


    On my first senior international tour in Australia in 2005, there weren’t many coaches with the team and as a junior bowler I was the one who was given the duty of doing a lot of bowling in the nets. When I had bowled for an hour to one batsman, the next one would be ready. It was searing heat and it felt as if my back was going to break. It was no surprise that when my chance finally came for my debut in Sydney, I ended-up with figures of 0 for 88. Nowadays touring squads have so many coaches with them which means that the junior bowlers are well looked-after, but back in my day there was no hiding place as a young bowler when you were looking to make a name for yourself.


    There were plenty of memorable moments in my career, but the match that I feel was vital for me and put me on the right path in my international career was when I took 7 wickets in just my third Test match in 2006 against India in Karachi, and which helped Pakistan win by 341 runs. Prior to this Test match I had played 2 Tests and had bowled poorly, taking only 1 wicket and the knives were already out despite being only 23 years old and many felt that I wasn’t good enough for international cricket. During that match in Karachi I took the wickets of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman twice, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. I feel that this was the match where I showed everyone what I was capable of and when the world realised that Mohammad Asif had arrived.


    It’s a matter of great pride for me that many of my wickets were top-order batsmen. I wasn’t a bowler who feasted on taking the cheap wickets of tail-enders to boost my statistics. In fact, my new-ball spells would quite often set us up as a team and allow the other bowlers to clean up the middle and lower-order. I came up against some fantastic opponents who were some of the greats of the game. Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist were formidable opponents as they wanted to dominate the bowlers and were always looking to attack you. I always felt they presented a different challenge to many other batsmen particularly in Test cricket and bowling to such greats was a challenge that I relished.


    My philosophy as a bowler always was that if you don’t quickly work out a batsman, then he will work you out very soon, and that you always had to be one step ahead of the batsman and had to outsmart him. I always prepared ahead of a match and came into a match knowing the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents, and I didn’t like leaving anything to chance. I enjoyed the challenge that the likes of Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist presented and whilst I knew that they had the ability to play incredible shots and could hit me around a bit, the fact was that I had that knowledge and self-belief that sooner or later I would get them out. Patience was important to me as a bowler and that is something that I feel is lacking in many modern-day bowlers. They want to bowl six magic deliveries an over, forgetting that you have to set-up a batsman and sometimes lull them into a false sense of security, and then strike when the batsman least expects it.


    There will always be remorse about what happened and my subsequent ban. I was playing a sport that I loved, a sport that I had always dreamt of playing. I was playing at the highest level for my country and I couldn’t have wished for anything more, but then I threw it away. I made mistakes, I broke hearts, I upset my fans, but we all make mistakes in life and have regrets. I was the main bowler in the Pakistan side, I was at the top of my game and known throughout the world as a dangerous opponent and highly respected by batsmen, but I lost it all. I definitely regret what happened and wholeheartedly apologise to my fans and cricket lovers around the world for my actions and for the hurt I caused.


    I was always confident about my abilities and working with the Late Bob Woolmer further instilled an attitude in me where I didn’t fear any opponent. He filled me with self-belief and told me never to fear or worry about batsmen, rather let batsmen worry about what I could do with the ball. His coaching took me to the next level as a bowler and his guidance was very beneficial to me. The difference with me and many of today’s bowlers is that too many bowlers bowl to the wicket-keeper and are satisfied with maiden overs or the ball continually hitting the wicket-keeper’s gloves. My theory was that it was all about bowling at the stumps and making the batsman play as much as possible. To me, it was all about the wickets column and not about maiden overs or wasted deliveries that the batsman could just leave.


    A lot of people offered me advice during my career, most of which was useless. I always felt that a lot of the advice you get over the course of your career is of no use. In my experience, only one in ten pieces of advice given to me was useful, and the rest of it was ignored by me - it went into one ear, and out of the other ear. The best pieces of advice to me as a bowler were from players or coaches who had experience of certain grounds and told me how the surface would behave over the course of a day or during the 5 days of a Test match. I was always a free spirit and felt that if I needed to rely too much on advice from others then I wouldn’t develop as a cricketer or be able to think for myself. Those cricketers who need too much coaching or advice will never succeed.


    The dressing room spat with Shoaib Akhtar in 2007 was an incident that Shoaib Akhtar has lived-off for 13 years. He has made so many comments about it and has kept on bringing it up whenever he can. Well, I had had enough, so I called him up recently and told him to shut up about the incident and move on from it. I told him to get over what happened, it’s history now. Instead of talking about that incident in every interview, I told him to talk sense, talk about how he can help young cricketers in Pakistan. One day he’s dreaming of being the Chief Selector, the next day he’s dreaming about being Pakistan’s Head Coach or Chairman PCB, he needs to get back to reality and actually focus on helping young cricketers instead of chatting about something that happened more than 13 years ago.


    When I came back to cricket after my ban, I knew that I still had the skills and ability to play international cricket. At the time I said that a fish never forgets to swim, and I showed that with my impressive form in domestic cricket for WAPDA. I was bowling well and utilising my experience and I was still full of confidence. In fact, I was bowling so well at that I felt that I was like an adult bowling to kids in domestic cricket. I was toying with batsmen at the domestic level and Inzamam-ul-Haq called me up and said to me that I would be called up for a training camp for the national side. However, the Pakistan Super League fixing controversy of 2017 put paid to my future selection for Pakistan and that was that. The selectors ended up picking bowlers like Wahab Riaz who had not even taken half the number of wickets I had that domestic season and that was both heart-breaking and frustrating.


    After participating in domestic cricket after my return I realised that there was a lot of favouritism and nepotism at play. Players were being picked based on who they knew rather than how good they were. Guys who were scoring 25 runs per innings were being labelled as great hopes and heroes. Bowlers with no performances were being given chance after chance, it was depressing and I knew people were trying to drop a hint to me to give up playing. I wanted to continue playing, but I started to think about alternatives to playing and focussed on coaching and I was asked to go to Afghanistan for a coaching stint with their young pace bowlers in 2016. However, the security situation meant that I had to decline the offer which was unfortunate as I was really looking forward to working with those youngsters.


    I still get messages from fans all over the world saying that there will never be another Mohammad Asif and that makes me happy and proud. They say I made fast-bowling an art and that is what I wanted to do. For me bowling was about utilising your skills, not just about running in all day and breaking your back. There were bowlers who I called labourers, the type who bowled 25 overs a day and took 1 wicket, well, I wasn’t one of them. If I bowled 20 to 25 overs a day, I made sure that I had taken at least 4 or 5 wickets. For me, fast-bowling was all about skill, it was sorcery, it was an art, it was like a game of chess where you mesmerised the batsmen and you outmanoeuvred, out-thought and out-planned them.


    These days I play club cricket around the world. I’ve played in Norway and more recently I’ve been playing in the United States. I’m available to play club cricket wherever teams want my services and I also do some coaching during those tournaments. I get a sense of joy and satisfaction teaching young cricketers about the art of pace-bowling. I plan to open a Cricket Academy in the United States with my friend Gurtej Singh who is keen to develop cricket in America and who has been hosting tournaments for several years out there. Let’s see what the future holds, I’m not someone who plans long-term, but coaching and working with young cricketers in an academy environment is something that I really enjoy.


    When I look back at my career, despite the ban, whatever I achieved as a cricketer makes me proud. I want fans to always remember me as a thinking-bowler, with skill and intelligence, who fully tested batsmen. What makes me happy is when fans come up to me and say I remember the ball you bowled to get VVS Laxman out, or the ball that you bowled to Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag or Kevin Pietersen. I get great joy and satisfaction from the fact that young swing bowlers still watch my videos for inspiration and for coaching tips. What really makes me very happy is when young bowlers approach me and say that what they really hope for in their career is to one day be able to bowl like me.


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  7. #6
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    What a bowler he was. Wasted his talent himself. I blame the lack of education for that.

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    Few cricketers on this side of 2000s have captivated me as much. He’s one of those few. Getting an opportunity to watch him live in action’s one of those transcendental experiences.

    Came free-spirited, more or less without a conscience, and charmed droves of cricket fans in a brief period.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaag Viru Bhaag View Post
    What a bowler he was. Wasted his talent himself. I blame the lack of education for that.
    Maybe. But Salman Butt was reasonably educated.

    Feel that for Asif the real battles weren’t limited to the cricket field - he wanted to live his own way and believed he could flummox authorities just as well as he could batsmen.

    Icarus flew too close to the sun in trying to test his own limits in life. Spot fixing aside, he’d been in the news for a various reasons already.

  10. #9
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    The guy wasted his nine lives. Terrific world class new ball bowler on a wicket that offered something to him but he gets over rated as well.

    The bulk of the matches he played are in England, NZ, South Africa and in Australia. His performances in Australia barring that one Sydney test match are not good enough. The two great test matches he enjoyed in the Subcontinent ie that 2006 Khi test match and that Sri Lanka test match were green wickets.

    This guy was ordinary on flat wickets and at the middle to the end of the innings.

  11. #10
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    I genuinely think he was best new ball fast bowler that Pak ever produced......

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    The guy wasted his nine lives. Terrific world class new ball bowler on a wicket that offered something to him but he gets over rated as well.

    The bulk of the matches he played are in England, NZ, South Africa and in Australia. His performances in Australia barring that one Sydney test match are not good enough. The two great test matches he enjoyed in the Subcontinent ie that 2006 Khi test match and that Sri Lanka test match were green wickets.

    This guy was ordinary on flat wickets and at the middle to the end of the innings.
    Still, he was exceptionally talented and wasted that talent.

    If we had Amir and Asif throughout the previous decade, maybe our test team wouldn't have reached new lows as it had done.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    The guy wasted his nine lives. Terrific world class new ball bowler on a wicket that offered something to him but he gets over rated as well.

    The bulk of the matches he played are in England, NZ, South Africa and in Australia. His performances in Australia barring that one Sydney test match are not good enough. The two great test matches he enjoyed in the Subcontinent ie that 2006 Khi test match and that Sri Lanka test match were green wickets.

    This guy was ordinary on flat wickets and at the middle to the end of the innings.
    Sri Lanka 18 wickets in 2 matches when guys like sangakarra and jayasuriya were dancing to his tunes.
    And who can forget Karachi.
    He could reverse the ball as well.

    In my opinion he had the best control on swing and seam anong bowlers who debuted in last 25 years

  14. #13
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    The spot fixing scandal was the last nail in the coffin for him. He had too many controversies surrounding him before that

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    No punches pulled for Shoaib Akhtar! About time someone called him out for being the YouTube dramaybaazi that he is

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    He was perhaps one of the most complete Test match bowlers I have seen. A real loss to the game, but that loss was deserved and necessary.

    Mohammed Asif is dead wrong if he thinks that he threw it away during the fixing saga.

    There will always be remorse about what happened and my subsequent ban. I was playing a sport that I loved, a sport that I had always dreamt of playing. I was playing at the highest level for my country and I couldn’t have wished for anything more, but then I threw it away. I made mistakes, I broke hearts, I upset my fans, but we all make mistakes in life and have regrets
    Actually he threw it away much before that. How many times had he already bucked the system with his shenanigans prior to that incident? Anyone recall the incident when he was almost jailed for carrying drugs on a flight? The fixing charge was the just and logical culmination of his irresponsible attitude over a period of time.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cryin Out Loud View Post
    He was perhaps one of the most complete Test match bowlers I have seen. A real loss to the game, but that loss was deserved and necessary.

    Mohammed Asif is dead wrong if he thinks that he threw it away during the fixing saga.



    Actually he threw it away much before that. How many times had he already bucked the system with his shenanigans prior to that incident? Anyone recall the incident when he was almost jailed for carrying drugs on a flight? The fixing charge was the just and logical culmination of his irresponsible attitude over a period of time.
    I remember meeting him in the uk few years prior to the spot fixing scandal, came across as very arrogant and even then he had an exotic cigarette in his mouth. Unfortunately the spot fixing was the icing on the cake, he was never a professional I’m afraid.

  18. #17
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    He actually sounds remorseful for what he did. Didn't make any excuses, accepted he made a mistake. Amir on the other hand didn't even admit he did something wrong, he went with the story that he had no idea he was fixing and gave passed on his bank details as he was bored. And we saw how Salman has acted in the media.

    I think it was right to never recall him for international cricket. I would take him back in a coaching capacity I don't feel like cricketers have to be punished forever. I think they should forfeit their chance at the highest level in internationals forever, but if they want to come back and help others to shine after they've served their ban, I'm alright with that.

    I quite like his attitude. He's sorry for what he did and doesn't make excuses. At the same time, he's still proud of what he achieved, and still looking to what he can do in the future. Just moaning, blaming others and giving up doesn't really help anyone, so glad he isn't doing that, and wish him luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ads101 View Post
    He actually sounds remorseful for what he did. Didn't make any excuses, accepted he made a mistake. Amir on the other hand didn't even admit he did something wrong, he went with the story that he had no idea he was fixing and gave passed on his bank details as he was bored. And we saw how Salman has acted in the media.

    I think it was right to never recall him for international cricket. I would take him back in a coaching capacity I don't feel like cricketers have to be punished forever. I think they should forfeit their chance at the highest level in internationals forever, but if they want to come back and help others to shine after they've served their ban, I'm alright with that.

    I quite like his attitude. He's sorry for what he did and doesn't make excuses. At the same time, he's still proud of what he achieved, and still looking to what he can do in the future. Just moaning, blaming others and giving up doesn't really help anyone, so glad he isn't doing that, and wish him luck.
    First time in ten years he seems remorseful

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmad-GERMANFC View Post
    First time in ten years he seems remorseful
    At least he did it after 10 years. Still waiting for Amir and Salman. Tbh though he remained pretty quiet in the media for that time unlike the other two.

  21. #20
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    i read the interview and ray charles' "i cant stop loving you" was playing the background. for a true pak cricket lover you only hate him because you loved him so much. alas, whats done is done.

    i just like to think theres an alternate universe where he never fixed and took 300 test wickets and ended up becoming the pak bowling coach instead of waqar younis.


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    Biggest waste of talent I've ever seen in this sport. Extremely sad but only he himself is to blame.

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    Asif and Shoaib Akhtar's bowling made me fall in love with fast bowling. Before that I admired spin more.

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    Amir pleaded guilty and served time, Asif and Butt continued to protest they were not guilty for many years after

  25. #24
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    Thank you for the memories Asif.

    There was so much intelligence behind your art - even reading your interview is a learning session.

  26. #25
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    Legend.

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    Nice read.

    Can't help but feel that it's positive PR. The real Asif is the badmash involved with drugs in the UAE, fixing in England, flings with Veena Malik, rockstar approach to his county stint, panga with Shoaib etc.

    Flawed genius trying to front IMO.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunzi View Post
    Nice read.

    Can't help but feel that it's positive PR. The real Asif is the badmash involved with drugs in the UAE, fixing in England, flings with Veena Malik, rockstar approach to his county stint, panga with Shoaib etc.

    Flawed genius trying to front IMO.
    No PR or trying to front. He doesn't need PR and it wouldn't work for him given how his career has gone.

    It was an open and honest interview reflecting on his cricket career and nothing else.

    He's spoken about other things in his life previously and frankly I wasn't interested in going over the same non-cricket things with him again.
    Last edited by Saj; 18th April 2021 at 19:49.



  29. #28
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    One of the greats for Pakistan, what a bowler he was and what he could have ended up with.

  30. #29
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    Habitual criminal

    Deserved everything bad that happened to him.

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    What a bowler he was , would make best of the best dance to his tunes. Amazing once in a generation talent .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    No PR or trying to front. He doesn't need PR and it wouldn't work for him given how his career has gone.

    It was an open and honest interview reflecting on his cricket career and nothing else.

    He's spoken about other things in his life previously and frankly I wasn't interested in going over the same non-cricket things with him again.

    He just seems to portray himself differently to how he seems to act/have acted.

    Let's see how he gets on, particularly trying to develop cricket in the US. He never struck me as someone too fussed with cricket beyond the obvious, so to hear him talking about youngsters and developing cricket is interesting.

    Yeah - the non-cricket things have been done to death; he's probably had enough of talking about them too

  33. #32
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    Lol at Asif claims he called and threatened Akhtar. I doubt he can do much to prevent Akhtar from talking about whatever he wants to talk about. When a highly connected lawyer like Taffazul Rizvi with all his legal might couldn't do it, how can Asif?
    Last edited by MenInG; 19th April 2021 at 13:25.

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    A complete fool and a complete waste of a talent.
    Last edited by MenInG; 19th April 2021 at 15:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    The guy wasted his nine lives. Terrific world class new ball bowler on a wicket that offered something to him but he gets over rated as well.

    The bulk of the matches he played are in England, NZ, South Africa and in Australia. His performances in Australia barring that one Sydney test match are not good enough. The two great test matches he enjoyed in the Subcontinent ie that 2006 Khi test match and that Sri Lanka test match were green wickets.

    This guy was ordinary on flat wickets and at the middle to the end of the innings.



    Totally incorrect, in Karachi (in the second Indian innings) he came to bowl after Pakistan had compiled I think a 700+ score with the first top 7 all ended up with a 50+ at least (with one scoring a century too).

    By that time, pitch had become extremely flat and a Pakistani green wicket is a myth which usually only last the first day or at max 2 days. Pitch had died down and one of the main reason why Tendulkar got bowled on a ball that stayed relatively low (er)...considering how short Tendulkar is, that says something about the bounce as well.

    Now as to the 'Green pitch' bit, if he took advantage of the juicy pitch, then what stopped the Indian bowlers and rest of the Pak bowler in not being able to seam/swing the ball as much as Asif was able to (case in point, see the ball to Laxman). As bad as he behaved, it does not take away the fact that he was able to seam/swing on any pitch, as long as he was fit (a few mathes where he failed to dominate the opposition, he was coming back from injury or being not 100% fit)

  36. #35
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    Lovely interview. He was a flawed person but was a magician with the ball. The variety and control he possessed should be lessons to sub continent bowlers. It's not about pace. It's about setting the batsmen up, make them play and earn the wicket. Lovely philosophy and was great to watch. No point in regretting now. Another great talent lost.

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    @Junaids

    and you defended him all these years, the guy himself is admitting it again


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  38. #37
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    Pathetic stuff from Inzamam who was trying to select this guy, are thesee people insane? WHy the hell were they thinking about select this corrupt cheat


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  39. #38
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    Great interview I really enjoyed it.

    He isn’t sorry about what he did. He is sorry he got caught. The proof is in the pudding.

    He says he’s sorry and made a mistake and then the very next line is his justification ‘we all make mistakes’
    If he was truly sorry he wouldn’t bring up the justification in the next line. It’s simple psychology.
    He not only kept taking drugs, but sold out his country. He got what he deserved.

  40. #39
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    1. Caught injecting himself with nandrolone before the 2007 World Cup.

    2. Caught injecting himself with nandrolone during the 2008 edition of IPL.

    3. Caught in the UAE with drugs.

    4. Caught spot fixing in 2010.


    You call them mistakes? How old was he when he made those mistakes, 12? Even I considered him a special talent at one point. But after his conduct over those years, it's impossible to have any sympathy for him.
    Last edited by Hitman; 21st April 2021 at 17:40.


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  41. #40
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    The PCB could have recalled Asif in 2015-16. I guarantee you he would have found a way to squander his tenth life as well. The guy was a walking time bomb.

  42. #41
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    We all make mistakes but some are life changing as was the case here. During his short career we saw glimpses of greatness. His then fiancee walked out on him too.

    Now living in America perhaps he can one day represent them


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  43. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    We all make mistakes but some are life changing as was the case here. During his short career we saw glimpses of greatness. His then fiancee walked out on him too.

    Now living in America perhaps he can one day represent them
    No he's been playing cricket and coaching out in America. He's not actually living out there. He still lives in Pakistan.



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    I was lucky enough to play against Asif in club cricket when he was at Ainsdale and i was at wavetree back in 2001. He was a class apart at the level pretty much week after week taking 5 plus wickets per game and single handily winning Ainsdale games. i also got to speak to him during a charity game during the season and he told me he was highly rated donestically and was hoping to play for pakistan one day. you could tell early on he was an execeptional talent. yes loads of people wrote him off after 1 apperance for pakistan in Australia. brilliant talent with the ball accross his short career for pakistan. however there was also an indication at an early age that off field activity and behaviour would lead to a shortened career which he eventually did.

  45. #44
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    As another poster has said Asif was certain to commit a fatal error leading to a permanent ban. This could be partly due to his own ignorance of not understanding the rules of the game and how it applies to international law. Only beef I have is Amir should have received the same treatment as well. He did not deserve all the efforts that were made to give him a second chance.
    Last edited by MenInG; 22nd April 2021 at 06:05.


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  46. #45
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    A once in a gen talent...so sad that this was wasted.
    Where he was diff from others in his time, was the way he used to set up batsmen make them think the reverse of what he was doing.
    I guess he was in G Mc G's league in that.
    Also a total head space waste in other matters judging by the drugs/fixing/actress/panga/off the field tamasha and hungama.
    As an Indian, there was a time in probably 2009 or so, I thought Asif, Amir, Aktar, Sami, Gul, Ajmal would be a bowling attack for all conditions all pitches all formats.
    What a waste....him, Jesse Ryder...

  47. #46
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    I remember meeting the Pakistan team back in 2007 or 2008. Everyone was so humble, polite and friendly - he was the only one who just had an aura of arrogance. Wasn't just rude but would actually go out of his way to be rude as if to make some kind of point - oh, i'm ASIF.

    Pathetic human. Absolute clown. Rightly disgraced.

  48. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babeikh View Post
    I remember meeting the Pakistan team back in 2007 or 2008. Everyone was so humble, polite and friendly - he was the only one who just had an aura of arrogance. Wasn't just rude but would actually go out of his way to be rude as if to make some kind of point - oh, i'm ASIF.

    Pathetic human. Absolute clown. Rightly disgraced.
    I had a similar experience with him when i saw him in a Pak-Scotland game in 2007. Signed my little bat
    but i chucked it away.

    Younis Khan and Umar Gul were the nicest guys i met.

  49. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    As another poster has said Asif was certain to commit a fatal error leading to a permanent ban. This could be partly due to his own ignorance of not understanding the rules of the game and how it applies to international law. Only beef I have is Amir should have received the same treatment as well. He did not deserve all the efforts that were made to give him a second chance.
    This is why talent is not just necessary in this day and age but also having a brain.

  50. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrIc_Mystique View Post
    A once in a gen talent...so sad that this was wasted.
    Where he was diff from others in his time, was the way he used to set up batsmen make them think the reverse of what he was doing.
    I guess he was in G Mc G's league in that.
    Also a total head space waste in other matters judging by the drugs/fixing/actress/panga/off the field tamasha and hungama.
    As an Indian, there was a time in probably 2009 or so, I thought Asif, Amir, Aktar, Sami, Gul, Ajmal would be a bowling attack for all conditions all pitches all formats.
    What a waste....him, Jesse Ryder...
    I think they believed that they would never get caught and could continue to spot-fix, bowl the occasional wide, no-ball etc here and there and nobody would notice.

    And the reality is that it was only by luck and not by any major investigation that they were caught.



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    A truly amazing bowler. Flawed human being got many chances but seems like he just wanted to do what he wanted. I think justice was served in the end.

  52. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    This is why talent is not just necessary in this day and age but also having a brain.
    Rather education is what Pak cricketers need so they know how to get around and take care of such matters. Illiterate cricketers from villages are more vulnerable then educated ones and by that I do not mean understanding or speaking the English language.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I think they believed that they would never get caught and could continue to spot-fix, bowl the occasional wide, no-ball etc here and there and nobody would notice.

    And the reality is that it was only by luck and not by any major investigation that they were caught.
    Its the reason i have hated all these crooks and none should have been allowed back. We would had fixing as part of the team for the whole of the 2010s. In short they would have embedded this corruption in the PK team forever because they would have also roped in other younger players. A lucky escape for PK cricket

  54. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Its the reason i have hated all these crooks and none should have been allowed back. We would had fixing as part of the team for the whole of the 2010s. In short they would have embedded this corruption in the PK team forever because they would have also roped in other younger players. A lucky escape for PK cricket
    Exactly, can you imagine if they hadn't been caught. The atmosphere young guys like Shaheen, Babar etc would have been going into the team and embarking on their careers surrounded by corrupt liars and cheats. Would have been horrendous.

  55. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I think they believed that they would never get caught and could continue to spot-fix, bowl the occasional wide, no-ball etc here and there and nobody would notice.

    And the reality is that it was only by luck and not by any major investigation that they were caught.
    The most worrying thing for all fans was about who else had been doing this also!?


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  56. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    Rather education is what Pak cricketers need so they know how to get around and take care of such matters. Illiterate cricketers from villages are more vulnerable then educated ones and by that I do not mean understanding or speaking the English language.
    I think someone knows common sense, the guy was arrogant and knew exactly what he was doing and the implications. The most arrogant and smug human being i have ever met.

  57. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    I think someone knows common sense, the guy was arrogant and knew exactly what he was doing and the implications. The most arrogant and smug human being i have ever met.
    Asif was arrogant??


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  58. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    Asif was arrogant??
    Yep he can be really rude saw him in a game in Edinburgh when Pak played Scotland.

  59. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    Yep he can be really rude saw him in a game in Edinburgh when Pak played Scotland.
    As he was uneducated could not handle the slightest of fame. This was also true of Pak cricketers from the 90's era.


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  60. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    As he was uneducated could not handle the slightest of fame. This was also true of Pak cricketers from the 90's era.
    The guy was just not very nice, nothing about lack of education. He didn’t even have the courtesy to say Salaam when I said Salaam to him, that’s what offended me most about him and to add i was a young high school kid at the time.

  61. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    The guy was just not very nice, nothing about lack of education. He didn’t even have the courtesy to say Salaam when I said Salaam to him, that’s what offended me most about him and to add i was a young high school kid at the time.
    You know in our culture many people in general are dismissive of kid's. Many years back I too met Asif Mujtaba who had a similar attitude. They think they are superstars like Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali or something!!


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  62. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    You know in our culture many people in general are dismissive of kid's. Many years back I too met Asif Mujtaba who had a similar attitude. They think they are superstars like Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali or something!!
    Yep, it's a Pakistani attitude and when people see money and fame they are blinded thinking they are better than everyone else. I would never ever want to reach that level that i think i'm better than someone even if i have a million pounds, and inshAllah that day never comes that i ignore others or think they are beneath me in any way. However, like i said Younis and Gul were absolute gems really nice lads. I only had this experience with Inzi (my hero at the time) and Asif.

  63. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by leg-side-flick View Post
    I genuinely think he was best new ball fast bowler that Pak ever produced......

    That is True, he was one of a kind maestro.

  64. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    Yep, it's a Pakistani attitude and when people see money and fame they are blinded thinking they are better than everyone else. I would never ever want to reach that level that i think i'm better than someone even if i have a million pounds, and inshAllah that day never comes that i ignore others or think they are beneath me in any way. However, like i said Younis and Gul were absolute gems really nice lads. I only had this experience with Inzi (my hero at the time) and Asif.
    After meeting a few Pak players I concluded most were ignorant. As I don't regard them as anything now I don't feel the need to collect their autographs.


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  65. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    After meeting a few Pak players I concluded most were ignorant. As I don't regard them as anything now I don't feel the need to collect their autographs.
    For me never meet your heroes you'll only be disappointed.

  66. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhony View Post
    Lovely interview. He was a flawed person but was a magician with the ball. The variety and control he possessed should be lessons to sub continent bowlers. It's not about pace. It's about setting the batsmen up, make them play and earn the wicket. Lovely philosophy and was great to watch. No point in regretting now. Another great talent lost.
    When we look at some of the greatest spells by Pakistani bowlers in Test cricket over the years, some of Asif's spells will be right up there.

    He could make the ball talk when he was in the groove and he had the ability to bowl different deliveries without showing any change in wrist position or grip to the batsman.

    He had all the skills, brilliant technique and he was a very intelligent bowler who had the ability to work batsmen out.



  67. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoaibbtt View Post
    For me never meet your heroes you'll only be disappointed.
    Once met the great Muhammad Ali. As a sportsman and person he is in a different league to our cricketers who play a game that most don't care about. It is Pak fans who have spoilt our cricketers by making them in to demi God's. You don't see people from most other cricket playing countries run after their players. Sadio Mane is also a brilliant guy who often cleans the Masjid he attends.
    Last edited by PakLFC; 29th April 2021 at 01:08.


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  68. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    Once met the great Muhammad Ali. As a sportsman and person he is in a different league to our cricketers who play a game that most don't care about. It is Pak fans who have spoilt our cricketers by making them in to demi God's. You don't see people from most other cricket playing countries run after their players. Sadio Mane is also a brilliant guy who often cleans the Masjid he attends.
    Part of me likes to think that some of our fans from Pakistan can be quite aggressive and that's why some players don't give us the time of day. A prime example of this was when Pakistan beat Bangladesh to win the Asia Cup in 2012 and when Afridi came back his daughter got pushed i believe by a fan or something and he lost his temper, another incident was when Younis Khan dragged a fan back to the dressing room. Sometimes some of our fans take it too far and irritate them.

    Muhammad Ali another hero of mines, stoked for you you got to meet him. I was in tears when i heard he passed and saw old clips of him on TV.

  69. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhaag Viru Bhaag View Post
    What a bowler he was. Wasted his talent himself. I blame the lack of education for that.
    Many Indian players “lack education”, but they are shrewd and street smart. Some say, even Kohli has not passed Matric.
    Many Pak players lack education, they may not be the shrewdest and smartest ones, but they are loyal and honest.

    Asif was neither shrewd and street smart, nor was he honest and loyal.

  70. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    When we look at some of the greatest spells by Pakistani bowlers in Test cricket over the years, some of Asif's spells will be right up there.

    He could make the ball talk when he was in the groove and he had the ability to bowl different deliveries without showing any change in wrist position or grip to the batsman.

    He had all the skills, brilliant technique and he was a very intelligent bowler who had the ability to work batsmen out.
    I think performance enhancement drugs had some role to play in his so called “magic”.

    He started to lose quite a bit of potency and started picking injuries quite frequently when he tested positive and was taken off the drugs.

    He has that kind of mindset that he will do it again if he gets a chance, be it fixing or drugs, or both.

  71. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorblind Genius View Post
    I think performance enhancement drugs had some role to play in his so called “magic”.

    He started to lose quite a bit of potency and started picking injuries quite frequently when he tested positive and was taken off the drugs.

    He has that kind of mindset that he will do it again if he gets a chance, be it fixing or drugs, or both.
    If drugs made bowlers swing and seam the ball like he did, more people would do it.

    He had a natural ability and skill and I don't believe that any drugs improved that facet of his game.



  72. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    If drugs made bowlers swing and seam the ball like he did, more people would do it.

    He had a natural ability and skill and I don't believe that any drugs improved that facet of his game.
    No, that’s a different point altogether.
    Obviously performance enhancement drugs do not DIRECTLY make the bowler start swinging the ball.

    The natural skill should be there, but there is a difference between “skill” and “performance”.

    Otherwise, think about it, why would he take performance enhancement drugs if he could swing it anyway?

  73. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorblind Genius View Post
    No, that’s a different point altogether.
    Obviously performance enhancement drugs do not DIRECTLY make the bowler start swinging the ball.

    The natural skill should be there, but there is a difference between “skill” and “performance”.

    Otherwise, think about it, why would he take performance enhancement drugs if he could swing it anyway?
    The point is whatever he took or didn't take - he was a genius with the ball regardless.



  74. #73
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    Crocodile tears by Asif

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    What a talent he was, probably the second-best Pakistani bowler as far as skills are concerned but
    Could've easily ended up with 350 plus wickets if he had any brain. Hope he never gets any job related to cricket ever again in his life.

  76. #75
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    Remember the Shoaib Akhtar hitting Mohammed Asif with the cricket bat episode that rocked the world of cricket ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa? Also, do you remember Shahid Afridi was accused of instigating the fight?

    During the 2007 inaugural World T20 in South Africa, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was called back after he allegedly hit Mohammed Asif with the bat after an argument.

    14 years after the episode, Afridi has finally broken his silence on the episode.

    “Things happen,” Afridi told Samaa.tv.

    “Asif had sided with me in a joke which enraged Shoaib and all this happened. But Shoaib has a very beautiful heart,” he added.

    Earlier, Akhtar had mentioned this episode in his autobiography, “Controversially Yours.” In that book, he accused Afridi of aggravating the situation. He also mentioned that he wanted to hit both of them with the bat, but Afridi ducked and Asif was hit.

    “Afridi was aggravating the situation and I swung the bat at both of them. Afridi ducked, but Asif couldn’t get out of the way, the bat struck him on his thighs and he collapsed. I had lost it. I had never behaved like this, especially in the dressing room,” wrote Shoaib.

    Recently, Akhtar won hearts when he asked the Pakistani government to help India fight Covid. He also asked Pakistani citizens to come forward and help. Afridi on the other hand is an extremely popular figure in Pakistan as he and his organisation do a lot of charity work and help the needy.

    Also, both cricketers are extremely active on social media.

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...roversy-982706


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  77. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Remember the Shoaib Akhtar hitting Mohammed Asif with the cricket bat episode that rocked the world of cricket ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa? Also, do you remember Shahid Afridi was accused of instigating the fight?

    During the 2007 inaugural World T20 in South Africa, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar was called back after he allegedly hit Mohammed Asif with the bat after an argument.

    14 years after the episode, Afridi has finally broken his silence on the episode.

    “Things happen,” Afridi told Samaa.tv.

    “Asif had sided with me in a joke which enraged Shoaib and all this happened. But Shoaib has a very beautiful heart,” he added.

    Earlier, Akhtar had mentioned this episode in his autobiography, “Controversially Yours.” In that book, he accused Afridi of aggravating the situation. He also mentioned that he wanted to hit both of them with the bat, but Afridi ducked and Asif was hit.

    “Afridi was aggravating the situation and I swung the bat at both of them. Afridi ducked, but Asif couldn’t get out of the way, the bat struck him on his thighs and he collapsed. I had lost it. I had never behaved like this, especially in the dressing room,” wrote Shoaib.

    Recently, Akhtar won hearts when he asked the Pakistani government to help India fight Covid. He also asked Pakistani citizens to come forward and help. Afridi on the other hand is an extremely popular figure in Pakistan as he and his organisation do a lot of charity work and help the needy.

    Also, both cricketers are extremely active on social media.

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...roversy-982706
    What was this about again ? Was it Akhtar being unhappy with Afridi suggesting that Imran Khan is better then him

  78. #77
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    Mohammed Asif was considered as one of the lethal pace bowlers in Pakistan’s arsenal until his career was marred with a 7-year ban due to his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal. After making his international debut in 2005, the former right-arm quick picked up 106 wickets in 23 Tests and 46 scalps in 38 ODIs. He also represented Pakistan in 11 T20Is and picked 13 wickets before his career was cut short. Once he was banned from playing cricket, he never managed to come back into the international set-up.

    In a recent interview with PakPassion.net, Asif spoke about getting recognised in the cricketing world during the early days of his career. The former cricketer recalled the 2006 Karachi Test against India and said that his performance in that particular game put him in the spotlight.

    “There were plenty of memorable moments in my career, but the match that I feel was vital for me and put me on the right path in my international career was when I took 7 wickets in just my third Test match in 2006 against India in Karachi, and which helped Pakistan win by 341 runs,” Asif was quoted as saying.

    “Prior to this Test match I had played 2 Tests and had bowled poorly, taking only 1 wicket and the knives were already out despite being only 23 years old and many felt that I wasn’t good enough for international cricket. During that match in Karachi, I took the wickets of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman twice, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. I feel that this was the match where I showed everyone what I was capable of and when the world realised that Mohammad Asif had arrived,” he added.

    It was the same Test match in which former Indian pacer Irfan Pathan had picked up a hat-trick in the opening over. India elected to bowl and dismissed the hosts for 245. But the Younis Khan-led Pakistan team bounced back in the second innings and set a mammoth 607-run target for the visitors to chase. In reply, Yuvraj Singh slammed a 144-ball 122 but that wasn’t enough to win the game. Rahul Dravid-led Team India was bowled out for 265 and lost the game by 341 runs.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...519459404.html


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  79. #78
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    The Mohammad Asif-Shoaib Akhtar spat at the 2007 World T20 has dominated headlines even several years after it happened. In 2007, reports surfaced that former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar had hit his teammate Asif with a bat. The reports were confirmed later and Akhtar was called back from the 2007 ICC World T20 in South Africa.

    The incident was been talked about a lot in the past and recently shot up again when Shahid Afridi was asked about it. Akhtar had previously talked about the incident in his autobiography, Controversially Yours, where he accused Afridi of aggravating the situation. Afridi recently replied in an interview as he denied aggravating the situation.

    “Things happen,” Afridi told Samaa.tv.

    “Asif had sided with me in a joke which enraged Shoaib and all this happened. But Shoaib has a very beautiful heart.”

    Now, Asif has also responded on the incident and has asked Akhtar to ‘shut up’ about the spat. Asif said Akhtar has lived-off the incident for 13 years and made so many comments about it. He revealed that he called up the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ and told him to ‘move on’ from it.

    “The dressing room spat with Shoaib Akhtar in 2007 was an incident that Shoaib Akhtar has lived-off for 13 years. He has made so many comments about it and has kept on bringing it up whenever he can. Well, I had enough, so I called him up recently and told him to shut up about the incident and move on from it. I told him to get over what happened, it’s history now. Instead of talking about that incident in every interview, I told him to talk sense, talk about how he can help young cricketers in Pakistan. One day he’s dreaming of being the Chief Selector, the next day he’s dreaming about being Pakistan’s Head Coach or Chairman PCB, he needs to get back to reality and actually focus on helping young cricketers instead of chatting about something that happened more than 13 years ago,” Asif told PakPassion.net


    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...568193261.html
    Last edited by MenInG; 21st May 2021 at 12:27.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  80. #79
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    New Delhi: Former Pakistan seamer Mohammed Asif credited the Karachi Test against India in 2006 for resurrecting his career that was lying in a piece of thread after a poor couple of Test matches that yielded only one wicket. The Karachi Test helped Asif to announce himself to the world as he pretty much went through the famed Indian batting order by dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, putting an end to all the speculations hovering over his career.

    “There were plenty of memorable moments in my career, but the match that I feel was vital for me and put me on the right path in my international career was when I took 7 wickets in just my third Test match in 2006 against India in Karachi, and which helped Pakistan win by 341 runs,” Asif told PakPassion.net.

    “Prior to this Test match I had played 2 Tests and had bowled poorly, taking only 1 wicket and the knives were already out despite being only 23 years old and many felt that I wasn’t good enough for international cricket. During that match in Karachi, I took the wickets of Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman twice, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. I feel that this was the match where I showed everyone what I was capable of and when the world realised that Mohammad Asif had arrived,” he added.

    Asif made his debut in 2005 and played 23 Tests for Pakistan in which he picked up 106 wickets at an average of 24.37. The 38-year-old’s career was cut short due to his involvement in spot-fixing. A career that promised a lot but delivered little except for a brief period of time.

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...ed-asif-983511


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  81. #80
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    Former cricketer Mohammad Asif recently opened up about the ‘favouritism’ in Pakistan’s domestic circuit. The former right-arm shared his experience when he returned to his country’s domestic cricket with the hope of making a comeback in the national team after a 7-year-ban.

    Asif was barred from all cricketing activities due to his involvement in spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England. After the restrictions were over, he looked to return to action via domestic cricket. However, he got a negative response from the people around him.

    While speaking in an interview with PakPassion.net, the former fast bowler revealed spoke about ‘nepotism’ and stated that the people hinted him to give up playing.

    “After participating in domestic cricket after my return I realised that there was a lot of favouritism and nepotism at play. Players were being picked based on who they knew rather than how good they were. Guys who were scoring 25 runs per innings were being labelled as great hopes and heroes. Bowlers with no performances were being given chance after chance, it was depressing and I knew people were trying to drop a hint to me to give up playing,” Asif was quoted as saying.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...754510704.html


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter


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