In prison Mandela was my motivation, says Mohammad Asif119 views
Banned pace-man Mohammad Asif eyes a comeback in Pakistan national team and targets the tour of England next year, he also said that South African President Nelson Mandela was his inspiration in those dark days.
The 32 year-old Asif, who was banned for five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt for bowling deliberate no-balls in a Lord’s Test match against England in 2010. The trio has now been cleared by the ICC on 1st September.
Asif, who had played 26 Tests and 38 ODIs for Pakistan was known as the best new-ball bowler of his era, Amir was the emerging young talent and a promising new-comer who became the youngest bowler to take 50 Test wickets at the age of 18 and Butt who was announced captain on the tour of England and would have stayed captain until now.
While talking to the media, Asif said that last five years of his life has been miserable and hard on him. The toughest part of those five years was that I could not go to the grounds where I had played cricket all my life, I couldn’t play the sports which I loved all my life and had passion for. Thanks to my family who supported me a lot through out these five years of isolation.
Asif added that I had never thought that I would be behind bars in any phase of my life, during that time in prison of United Kingdom Nelson Mandela was my inspiration and my motivation that helped me survive their.
After being cleared by the ICC, these three players will undergo a six-months rehabilitation program before returning to international cricket according to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). This means that the trio will be available for selection of Pakistan for the tour of England in summers of next year.
Asif concluded by saying that he’s 100% fit, weighs the same five years ago and mentally prepared for a comeback in cricket. He has highlighted his goal for a return in international cricket in the series against England.
On the tour of England, Pakistan will play four Tests matches at Lord’s, Manchester, Birmingham and The Oval. Followed by five match ODI series and a lone Twenty20 international.