Asif finally apologies for his role in spot-fixing after 3 years
15 August, 2013
KARACHI: Disgraced Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif has finally said “sorry” and admitted he was guilty of spot fixing during Pakistan's ill-fated tour to England in 2010.
KARACHI: Disgraced Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif has finally said “sorry” and admitted he was guilty of spot fixing during Pakistan's ill-fated tour to England in 2010. The 30-year-old is the last of three players to make a confession, after teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamir admitted their part and presented themselves for rehabilitation. Asif chose Pakistan's Independence Day to make his confession. “Today I admit what I did was wrong and I am ashamed for bringing disgrace to my family and my country. I apologise to the nation and the Pakistan Cricket Board,” Asif told reporters at press conference here on Wednesday.
Asif, pace partner Aamir and then-captain Salman were banned for contriving to bowl deliberate no-balls in return for money during the Lord's Test against England in 2010. A year later an anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Salman for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven years with two suspended and Aamir for five years. The tribunal had made confession, apology and rehabilitation mandatory to avoid the suspended portion of the ban being activated.
“I feel sorry for what has happened. I don't know what is going to happen now that I have admitted everything. But my conscience is clear now,” Asif said. “I have gone through a lot in the last few years but I brought it upon myself and I deserved the punishment I got.” Asif, who captured 106 wickets in 23 Tests before his career derailed, said he wanted to make sure the next generation learnt from his mistakes. “I want to play a role now in at least warning the younger players off the pitfalls of corruption and fixing,” he said. “I want to tell them don't step into the path of corruption.”
An English court also jailed the trio and their agent Mazhar Majeed over the affair in 2011. The players were released last year. Asif's show of contrition comes at the end of a long and exhaustive bid to clear his name that saw him unsuccessfully challenge both his criminal conviction and ICC ban. The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his attempt to overturn the ICC suspension in April. In June the Court of Appeal in London dismissed his challenge to his conviction.
Asif was touted as the world's best new-ball bowler by legendary Pakistan paceman Imran Khan. But his career was first derailed in 2006 when he and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for banned steroids. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal let them off. But another failed dope test in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 resulted in a one-year ban for Asif. He was also detained at Dubai airport on return from the 2008 IPL after a banned drug was found in his possession. Asif said he was ready to go through the PCB rehabilitation programme. “I have suffered a lot because of my wrongdoings. Now on the Independence Day of my country, I promise that once my ban finishes I will try to repair the damage I have done.” He also requested the ICC to allow him to play first-class cricket so that when his ban ended he was fit enough to represent his country.