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Asif apologises for spot-fixing; accepts punishment


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Asif is the last of three players to come out with a confession. -Photo by AFP
Asif is the last of three players to come out with a confession. -Photo by AFP
Asif leaves following a news conference. -Photo by AFP
Asif leaves following a news conference. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Disgraced Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif on Wednesday apologised for his role in a 2010 spot-fixing scandal, admitting his guilt for the first time and accepting a five-year ban.

The 30-year-old is the last of three players to make a confession, after team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir admitted their part and presented themselves for rehabilitation.

Asif, pace partner Amir and then-captain Butt 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 Butt for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven years with two suspended and Amir for five years.

The tribunal had made confession, apology and rehabilitation mandatory to avoid the suspended portion of the ban being activated.

“I accept the punishment from the ICC tribunal in 2011,” Asif said at a news conference.

“I apologise for my actions that have brought disrespect to my beloved country, to the millions of fans in Pakistan and in the world.”

The trio and their agent Mazhar Majeed were also jailed by an English court 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 Arbritration 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 Pakistani paceman Imran Khan. But his career was first derailed in 2006 when he and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for banned steroids.

They were let off by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) tribunal. 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 felt sorry for his repeated mistakes. “When I look back at the events of my career, I feel very sorry,” he said.

Asif warned future players to avoid the pitfalls of fixing.

“I request to all the players who want to represent their countries that they must keep away from all sorts of corruption,” he said.

“I am ready to help any player who wants to avoid such pitfalls. I will duly cooperate with the ICC, its anti-corruption unit and with the PCB in fighting the corruption in the game.”

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.”

Before the ban, Asif had taken 106 wickets in 23 Tests and was widely regarded as one of the most skilful new-ball bowlers in the game.

Comments (64) Closed

Sak Aug 14, 2013 03:58pm

Asif is an absolute disgrace to Pakistan and cricket. People like him never repent on their acts but try to gain their standing again through sympathy to do it all over again.

mo Aug 14, 2013 04:20pm

Idoit and fool showed no remorse. Fooled the nation for 3 years and now just want to make more money. Should banned for live

shaz Aug 14, 2013 04:38pm

Brought same to nation that has given guys like him all the fame and glory and then these guys bring shame to the nation. After accepting, he desreves more additional punishment.

Youth Aug 14, 2013 05:11pm

@shaz: I fully endorse your view. Additional punishment should be given to him for disgracing his country on more than one occasion

Asif Ali Khan Aug 14, 2013 05:17pm

This man should be completely banned from the inclusion in the Pakistani Cricket Team. He is disgrace to the nation and the gentlemanly sports of cricket.

Saud Bajwa Aug 14, 2013 05:25pm

I would love watch you bowling and swing the ball both ways.You were like of a Glen McGrath for Pakistan.But were so stupid to prefer a path of total destruction over a road to glory.Your experience and guidance could turn the talent of young Mohammad Aamir in to an immaculate creation. But you trashed your fame and chose shame to be with you for the rest of your life. Your company destroyed an innocent teenager. It's too late Asif and what an unfortunate waste. Let the youngsters learn a lesson from your fate.

dr vimal raina Aug 14, 2013 05:26pm

Thank you sir for apologizing , after three years. It is graceful of you to accept punishment. You are the star! You fool me once, shame on you. You fool me twice shame on me. You fool me multiple times then I am a fool.

M. Saeed Awan Aug 14, 2013 05:36pm

At any cost his apology should not be accepted. How Salman, Amir and Asif shall bring back the honour of Pakistan which they defamed? Secondly he is corrupt person as I have personal knowledge of his relationship with Veena Malik. Pakistan don't need such loose character crickter. Stay awan

Yousaf Aug 14, 2013 06:21pm

Where are all the Pakistanis that were claiming "Conspiracy" theories when these players were convicted? I wonder where everybody went?

skeptic Aug 14, 2013 06:22pm

God help us if we were to use your help for the young players on morality. Stay home and sulk

sabeeh omer Aug 14, 2013 06:42pm

Do you honestly believe in his apology? His repeated acts of gross violations (as mentioned in the report) bear testimony to the fact that he is an unreliable, conceited and self-centered individual. He did not give a damn to the shame he was bringing on Pakistan, the Pakistanis and the Pakistani cricket. His repentance is merely related to the fact that he wants to be allowed to play cricket once again and make money. He does not have an atom's worth of self-respect.

Mirzasaheb Aug 14, 2013 07:24pm

Fooled no one except the " conspiracy theorists". I wonder what they have to say now.

Rogers Evans Aug 14, 2013 07:26pm

Asif, Salman Butt ad Aamer are disgrace to Pakistan. These days every one suspects every player of Pak Team for Fixing. It is because these three selfish cheats. These three should never be considered in any capacity with Pak Cricket at any level. A thief is always a thief

debater Aug 14, 2013 08:03pm

did they not lie under oath and that should not be forgiven.

satyendra Aug 14, 2013 08:06pm

Asif and Aamir what a waste of tremendous god given talents!!I'm from India ,we have serious dearth of genuine fast bowlers and it is gutting to see such talent wasted!! I had no questions that Aamir will be more lethal than Wasim Akram and I still hope he will be top-notch bowler after he makes his come back. Anyway this should set an example on how not to play cricket for young budding talents around the world!

Ahmed Khattaq Aug 14, 2013 08:13pm

He should be banned for making Veena Malik famous!

prodigalson Aug 14, 2013 08:44pm

please remember the story of Prodigal son. To Err is human to forgive is divine.

Taha Lateef Aug 14, 2013 08:54pm

@mo: The suspended sentences of both Asif and Salman Butt should be activated.

Khalid Aug 14, 2013 10:15pm

A convicted criminal who brought shame to the entire nation. How dare you are trying to fool the nation again. The nation is not as stupid as you believe.

(Dr.) B.N. Anand Aug 14, 2013 10:39pm

Look how one keeps trying to prove himself innocent even after committing a crime. So much time and energy has been wasted in prosecution and effort on the part of establishment, media and the Mr. Asif himself to prove himself be a victim of a conspiracy. When no light seemed in the dark tunnel, he had to confess in the end of his guilt. I am sure he can now sleep in peace after having confessed his crime and punishment. Sure , every one will forgive him and he will move on with life.

mk Aug 14, 2013 10:52pm

he should be ban for life

AJ Aug 14, 2013 11:25pm

There is so much one can be regretful about when you look at the mistakes of the past but you can never spin it back. Asif's contineous bad behaviour and then getting bans of one year and five years broke so many hearts that he will never be able to imagine. He was the magician and I could just sit in front of the TV for hours to watch his art of trapping the batsmen. He was a loss for cricket as a whole, not only pakistan.

Nadeem Mirza Aug 14, 2013 11:25pm

Crocodile tears! No conscience what so ever!...How could these guys sleep at night? Hurt so many fans and got the bad name for the country, in Asif's case not the first time. Mean thing Asif and Butt did is dragged and polluted the young and uneducated Mohammad Aamir. They should have been a role model for the youngsters in the team and fans all over the world. LIFE BAN after this admission and treason charges should be applied on them BOTH! Where is chief justice now?

Aftab Hameed Khan Aug 14, 2013 11:40pm

This man had talent and cricketing brain that some could dream and yearn for! I loved watching him setup batsman and extract the wicket. I could see him bowl for hours unrelentingly. For me he was the answer to Australia's McGrath, He was the answer to Shoaib Akhtar's antics and arrogance! How I felt sad and betrayed when he was involved in Spot Fixing! I felt frustrated when he denied his involvement though everything pointed against him!!

But now after 3 years to regret or pretend to regret and want to come back to the cricket team and while many may advocate for a second chance for you.. we have only one answer... We Dont Need You...!!!!

Dr Gohar Sattar Aug 14, 2013 11:55pm

Fashioning shades and a flashy shirt this shameless human showed up on national television on the eve of independence day to fool the nation again...its people like him who'll readily sell national pride in return for money...they do not belong to any country and are driven by greed and self interest only... it would be a pity if he is brought back into cricket...sportsmen like him should be banned for life...this country has enough talent and we'll be much better off without people like asif and company if you are listening,go and eat grass!

Omar S Aug 15, 2013 12:50am

hmmmm......Asif, so Veena Malik was right all along about your fixing habits for years and what a bad character person you are.

Mha Aug 15, 2013 01:18am

@mo: I completely agree with you. From the video it doesn't seem like he has any remorse. Suddenly after 3 years and exhausting every option he is admitting to his crime. It is only natural to be suspicious of his motives.

Quresh Aug 15, 2013 02:17am

He is liar and crook. I do not believe him. He only bring shame to Pakistan.

Pendoo Aug 15, 2013 02:46am

At the end of the day, Amir appears to be a saint compared to these two idiots. Despite being younger than both of them, he showed more maturity and admitted his guilt immediately. Asif and Salman decided to deceive not only the justice system but also opted to play with the sentiments of their fans until all legal possibilities were exhausted. Do we really want to see them in action again? Its amazing that they still aspire to show their faces to us all. They must be ashamed of their actions and stop seeking to represent the country that provided them with the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase their talent on the world stage. They decided not to respect the game of cricket, their fans and prestige of their country. So, no respect for any of them anymore, and please stop asking for our sympathy.

shaan Aug 15, 2013 04:03am

Chor machaye shor! crocodile tears, a disgrace for gentleman's game

Rehan Akbar Aug 15, 2013 05:28am

Accepting your fault is a brave act. We humans have weaknesses. Any person can get into a pitfall. This is the moment people should support any such person in rebuilding him/her. Its not to say that they should be given any lineancy in terms of the punishment, and opportunity should be lost to set an example for others to fear committing such acts.

javed qamer Aug 15, 2013 06:12am

Why is Asif apologizing. I distinctly remember seeing photos of Asif and Salman Butt co- conspirators of spot fixing scandal vehemently deny any involvement with spot fixing. For three long years both the players steadfastly denied all charges. In addition they were pictured smiling and laughing. Now that it has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that they are guilty they accept their guilt. They now talk about shaming the nation and making amends for all their misdeeds. My request to both players good riddance to bad rubbish.

Pasha Aug 15, 2013 06:33am

What an actor ....! No use crying over split milk. Reap as you sow.!

Friend Aug 15, 2013 07:04am

He is not ashamed. He is only saying it to get a quick route back to international cricket. I can bet you he still smokes stuff. He needs to be punished for coming clean.

faisal Aug 15, 2013 07:04am

Confession and apology after being found guilty by the English courts, sounds to me like crocodile tears.If Asif was really remorseful he should have come clean before his trial started.People like him should never be allowed to associate with this great sport in any form whatsoever.He brought shame to Pakistan and is a disgrace to the sport.

zeshan Aug 15, 2013 07:46am

I agree with all the blog writers. But I must say we make so many mistakes all day every day. Allah (SWAT) excuses all of our mistakes when we apologize and shed tears. Do you think we can show some mercy. I understand and agree that this guy made us all look bad in front of the world. But if it was the case than we should not let go anyone of our politicians. They do so many immoral things which include murders. So why not the same when it comes down to cricket . Do you think cricket means more than the moral values of our country and countrymen. please comment.

Gautam Aug 15, 2013 08:24am

Forgiveness has been given special place in Islam. To all commentators I can only say that you too can cast a stone if you have never sinned in your life. Take a long hard look at yourself......C'mon guys, what happened to the good ol 'Whatever!'.

Guest63 Aug 15, 2013 08:29am

LOL , all those 3 years of cameo thunders " I am innocent and will prove it and clear my name , " like the other 2 Crime mates (Butt and Aamer ) , These crock tears WILL and MUST FOOL NONE . To PCB , Confine these 3 to the history for ever . Let them do manual labor of their own choice to feed themselves , they made millions of these acts of personal and national disgrace so PLEASE PLEASE DO Not fool yourselves and the nation too that this or that guy is a talent and national treasure and future of Pakistan cricket ( people are talking this sort of about Aamer at least ! ) , If what this or these guys brought to the cricket in general but to the Nation in particular , then such so called talents MUST BE let buried in the coffins of their disgraced acts for ever . Please do not disgrace the nation ( you PCB) , by letting any one of these 3 to done the national color again , come what may they have left in them as a cricketers

sameen khan Aug 15, 2013 08:46am

@shaz: Asif just like Salman Butt did, is trying to shed crocodile tears to gain sympathy. He doesn't get any from me. He is a disgrace to the game. Apart from match fixing he was always involved in some form of drug abuse.

Saeed Anwar Aug 15, 2013 09:55am

What a joke, are we supposed to believe this compulsive liar, cheater and criminal? Is there any remorse in him or Salman Butt? Are they not already paid millions upon millions each year in salaries alone to still let down their country?

I am not convinced and I, as a Pakistani, am not willing to give them repeated chances.

SarcoJoe Aug 15, 2013 10:27am

The PCB had better watch out in case he wheedles his way back into a 'remorseful return' to our 'clean 15', even if he offers to share his ill-gotten goodies with some members of that entity. We can certainly do without him and give a chance instead to another, cleaner, youngster. Come to think of it, perhaps other such Asifs (apologisers, sort of), should likewise apologise for their financial misdeeds before bidding us farewell too!

Dr Gohar Sattar Aug 15, 2013 10:39am

@shaz: Fashioning shades and a flashy shirt this shameless creature appeared on national television on the eve of independence day to flirt the nation again.People like him do not belong to any country and are driven by greed and self interest only. It would be a pity to see him back in action. Pakistan has better talent and our cricket would be much better off without characters like him, who' ll readily put national pride for sale in the quest for money. Mr. asif & company if you are listening, i have this for you- go & eat grass!

benn Aug 15, 2013 11:56am

Pak cricket should try to accept his apology. Anyway he had confessed and should give him one more chance to represent the country. Really appreciate those who are ready to confess and stay away from wrong doings....

Liaqat Aug 15, 2013 12:43pm

Everyone deserves a chance.

cameo Aug 15, 2013 12:50pm

Story of Pakistan really. The most amazing talent in the world.... wasted Brought up in a society which just doesn't instill any moral values, sense of right and wrong Sad sad sad M Asif bowling against India in Karachi will still go down as one of the greatest ever bowling spell in History

Khan Aug 15, 2013 01:13pm

Please keep him away from cricket. Now that he has confessed after a long time of deception, he should be fined money for all the illegal money he has earned. I am certain, it was not the first time he did it.

Alam Aug 15, 2013 01:42pm

Dont worry Asif people of Pakistan love you! We would have done the same if we were in your place! If we are upset we should be more Upset with Amir for confessing infront of the world about match fixing instead of hiding it.

katasraj Aug 15, 2013 02:10pm

Asif is true pakistani

katasraj Aug 15, 2013 02:09pm

So sad for cricket

Virendra Aug 15, 2013 02:37pm

Apologies after you are punished and ostracised is just begging for second chance. Why did he kept quiet for so long? Was he expecting that matter would be just swept under the carpet, as it usually happens in Subcontinent. Cheaters deserved to be made example of - he got what he deserved. End of story.

Guest63 Aug 15, 2013 02:38pm

@Pendoo: I wonder in the British legal system , if there is a provision to reopen the case and try these two ( Butt and Asif ) for Perjury ( under oath Lying and hiding the truth ) . If not I wonder if the Pakistan legal system allows this sort of trial of the two , If not , then the last thing PCB can do is to use the previous rulings (both from ICC and British courts as well as court of sport arbitration ) and REINFORCE LIFE BAN on these two as well as stop supporting Aamer and let him serve his full ban also . Perhaps only then , there might be an example set for the others to watch their steps before they take wrong ones ..... A deterrent has to be set up now .

Farrukh Aug 15, 2013 02:53pm

What is the point of apologizing now ? After three years of constant lies and an upfront denial of his actions, why confess now??

But his contribution to our cricket is no doubt worthy of mention. He was an excellent player but wandered off onto the wrong path.

That being said, Pakistani cricket team does not need such people in the team! It is not like our team is out of players and needs him. I am sure there are millions of other Asif's in each and every street of Pakistan. They should be given the chance to claim Asif's place as a great bowler and be guided properly to ensure they stay away from following the steps of the 3 players.

Blister Aug 15, 2013 03:02pm

I read it and read it again. I though a lot about AAmir's apology, Butt's apology and now this ones nautanki. The only thing I can think of which will not be censored is CHAL BAY RASTA NAAP! They have the audacity to apologise like this after refusing to accept their fault in the first place. Dragging the name of not only the country but each and every Pakistani in mud. This is on what the world (at least cricketing world) based their opinion about us as a nation when the story hit the news. Where are all the TV channels and anchors who said this can't be true? Shame on the channels which brought on to comment the convicted Salman Butt as an expert on cricketing matters. All the anchors and TV channels aupporting this trio should submit there unreserved apology. I shiver to think that this rubbish is supposed to be the inspiration for our youngsters. Tommorrow this man will be giving his " EXPERT" advice. All the people who supported these three should be served show cause notice to give an explanation as what they based there assessment on. I can imagine that the people involved in this currently must be thinking ooohhhh we can get away with this, this isn't too bad, you just have to be besharam and grovel and you can get away with it!

khan Aug 15, 2013 04:10pm

@Alam: only a morally corrupt person will still love asif. I hate him for what he did. BEGHAIRAT is the word.

Dr Gohar Sattar Aug 15, 2013 04:27pm

Fashioning shades and a flashy shirt this shameless creature appeared on national television on the eve of independence day to flirt the nation again.People like him do not belong to any country and are driven by greed and self interest only. It would be a pity to see him back in action. Pakistan has better talent and our cricket would be much better off without characters like him, who' ll readily put national pride for sale in the quest for money. Mr. asif & company if you are listening, i have this for you- go & eat grass!

Yousaf Aug 15, 2013 04:53pm

I see so many Pakistanis so upset with corruption in Cricket. The entire country is corrupt so why should cricket be any different? Why is there no outrage at other forms of corruption?

mudassar Aug 15, 2013 05:28pm

Cricker Asif....

Someone like you should NEVER be forgiven for what shame you (and other cricketers) brought on to Pakistan.

RajiB Aug 15, 2013 07:22pm

@katasraj: He is crook like so many in every cricket playing country . There are no angels.

Imran A. Aug 15, 2013 07:53pm

As humans, we make mistakes. Punishment is to teach them a lesson, not destroy careers. Why didn't ICC setup rules of matching punishment before? I think that ICC should have either a life ban or a 3 year ban. What's the point of giving someone 7 years? It gives them hope and tortures their souls in hope that they will be re-instated. ICC is acting very childish.

Ray Aug 15, 2013 09:17pm

Keep him out forever please. He has a history of breaching rules and cannot be trusted. When he was out of the team due to the Dubai scandal, he said if I get in the team once, I'll make up for it. KEEP HIM AWAY!!!

Ray Aug 15, 2013 09:18pm

@katasraj: Why do you say that? Is he any different from Sreesanth, Prabhakar etc?

Ray Aug 15, 2013 09:19pm

@Alam: People are not with him Alam. Please wake up!

Mohammad Asif Aug 15, 2013 11:05pm

My dear Pakistani brothers please accept my apologies... I promise I won't do it again ;)

Syed Hassan Ali Aug 16, 2013 12:06am

Now that there is no chance but to confess, this cheat is confessing. He and Salman Butt are liars and deserve no sympathies. We all know for sure that there are other players as well who have fixed matches (Kamran Akmal is one of them) and they should be tried and punished as well. Asif is a cheat, habitual fixer and a sport criminal.

Although nobody can doubt the talent he possessed and that makes is ever more painful for a cricket lover like me.