HYDERABAD: Discarded Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif said here on Friday that he is not disappointed about not able to find a place in the national team, is enjoying his cricket and will probably play the game for three or four more years.
“Why should I be disappointed? I am enjoying my cricket,” said Asif while speaking to Dawn at the Niaz Stadium where his side Wapda beat PTV in a one-day match of the Departmental Cup.
Asif has so far claimed 45 wickets in seven matches of the domestic circuit and hopes to further raise his overall tally of wickets in the tournament.
Asked whether he feels dejected at not being recalled by the national team, the lanky pacer said that he is trying to give his best in the matches and the rest depends on Pakistan selectors. “It is something that is not in my hands but whenever there is a call I will certainly be ready to serve my country,” he said.
Recalling his performance on New Zealand tour in 2009 during which he had claimed 19 wickets in three Tests at an average of 19.68, Asif said: “I got nine wickets in Wellington [where Pakistan face Black Caps on Saturday] Test which Pakistan won.”
Asif also had a word of advice for the current Pakistani side. “Our fast bowlers will have to bowl within the stumps as tracks there are bouncy and ball is delivered at a certain height except for one or two grounds [in New Zealand] where low bounce is seen,” he said.
“Our bowlers must not waste balls like they did in the warm-up. They must keep the pressure on the Kiwis,” he observed.
He also lauded the maturing of Pakistani pacer Hasan Ali. “On the whole he is doing well and bowles the ball within stumps. This is key and he has to maintain the same quality in New Zealand. Besides we have a coach in Azhar Mahmood who has lot of experience of playing in New Zealand and Australia. I am sure Azhar will be giving some fine tips to the bowlers,” he remarked.
Asif noted that Pakistani coach is only focussing on the youngsters to be part of the national side but he must not forger that a good mix of experience could do the team a lot of good.
“Every coach has a certain outlook. I have seen in last one to two years that only youngsters are being inducted which is a not totally wise strategy.
“We need to come out of the Champions Trophy euphoria as tough cricket lies ahead against teams like New Zealand, England, South Africa and New Zealand,” he said.
When asked if he ever wrote to the ICC to find out if there is any instruction from the world governing body to not select him in the national side, Asif said: “No, I never wrote to the ICC to know whether it has restrained the PCB on selecting me for the national representation. The ICC has already clarified that the ban on me has ended and I can play any form of cricket.”
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2018