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Troubled Asif faces end of career

Published Apr 17, 2013 08:33pm


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mohammad asif, salman butt, spot-fixing scandal, match-fixing scandal, asif butt cas, Court of Arbitration for Sport, mohammad amir
Asif played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world. -Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif's remarkable talent promised much more than he delivered.

Touted as one of the best new-ball bowlers, Asif's career appears to have been struck a fatal blow on Wednesday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected his appeal against a seven-year spot-fixing ban.

Along with teenage pace partner Mohammad Amir and captain Salman Butt, he was implicated in a News of the World sting, which claimed that several Pakistani players took money to perform specific orders pre-arranged with bookmakers during the Lord's Test against England in August 2010.

In 2011 the three players were all banned by the International Cricket Council Tribunal, with Asif and Butt turning to CAS in a last-ditch attempt to get their bans voided.

Scandal is nothing new for 30-year-old Asif, whose brief five-year international career had more lows than highs.

Asif, along with another paceman Shoaib Akhtar, tested positive for a banned steroid in 2006.

He was banned for one year and Akhtar for two years, sanctions which were overturned on appeal, a decision which many felt encouraged Asif to continue flouting the rules.

He again failed a dope test in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season in 2008 and a two-year ban followed.

Asif suffered more misery when he was arrested at Dubai airport for possessing a banned drug.

He was detained for 19 days only to be deported after the police found the quantity of the substance “insufficient” to pursue a case.

Even after the ban ended, Asif's career was hit by a scandal with South Asian film star and model Veena Malik, who alleged he owed her huge amounts of money.

And when the spot-fixing scandal broke, Veena called Asif an “eternal fixer”.

For many, Asif's failure to act responsibly was disappointing.

“Asif has been through a lot in his life, with doping allegations and bans, but he clearly has not learned from his mistakes,” said former captain Ramiz Raja in 2011.

It was under Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer that Asif blossomed as a genuine swing bowler.

Woolmer picked him for Pakistan's tour to Australia and although Asif went wicketless on his debut Test at Perth, Woolmer never lost faith in the lithe and determined fast bowler.

Asif claimed 11 wickets in a tour match against England in 2005 and was brought back into the national side for Pakistan's final Test against India at home in 2006.

He took seven wickets in the win over India -- including the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar -- at Karachi, which also helped Pakistan clinch the series.

He followed it with 11 victims in Pakistan's Test win at Galle, taking 17 wickets in the two Tests. His “five-for” also helped Pakistan beat South Africa in the Port Elizabeth Test in 2007.

But an elbow injury and worries over his disciplinary record forced Pakistan to withdraw him and Akhtar from the 2007 World Cup.

After he completed the IPL ban, Asif's career seemed to be back on track until the ill-fated England tour where he grabbed 23 wickets in six Tests -- two against Australia and four against the home team.


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Comments (22) Closed

Amjid ali Apr 17, 2013 03:51pm
shame on being Pakistani , here people never admit their faults , see our president to common man , no ethics at all.
Mustafa Apr 17, 2013 04:03pm
The disgraced trio will keep on disgracing Pakistan as long as they and, to some extent, media lives.
Karachi Wala Apr 17, 2013 04:05pm
A sorry end to what otherwise could have been very rewarding career for Asif and Pakistan both.
Amir Apr 17, 2013 04:19pm
This is what happens when greed is allowed to take over the sense of responsibility and integrity. He got what he deserved. He had immense talent and a bright future but instead of capitalizing on his talent, he chose to take the short cut and in the process compromised not only his integrity but also shamed the entire nation. Let this be a lesson to all those who may try to take the same path. It is a sad story but it could have been prevented if common sense had prevailed.
Karachi Wala Apr 17, 2013 04:21pm
Corruption is so much deem rooted in our country and culture and very hard to avoid for youngsters coming from all socio economic backgrounds. However, PCB needs to learn a lesson and make sure all players are thoroughly educated and trained to stay away from any wrong doing. This should start from the domestic level. Random drug tests and sting operations should be conducted before a player gets to play on international level.
Karachi Wala Apr 17, 2013 04:33pm
If PCB is unable to educate and root out corruption from players and umpire, then they should send young players and officials to Pakistan politicians. The politicians can at least teach and train them on how to be corrupt and avoid any charges and jail time.
Capt C M Khan Apr 17, 2013 04:48pm
An asset lost in the culture of BECOMING RICH OVERNIGHT.Only a miracle will get us out of this culture of corruption. We have become experts in manipulating the system and morals to become rich.
Ahmad Zubairi Apr 17, 2013 04:54pm
what a waste, he promised so much but was unable to learn from one blunder to another. He deserved his ban. He has one option left though, admit what he did cooperate with ICC and teach youngsters how to stay away from this mess and he can play in two and a half year if he is fit. But maybe he does not need it he may have enough stashed up somewhere in swiss accounts. Ahmad
Aamir Apr 17, 2013 05:13pm
Foolish people never learn from their own mistake, so now face the music buddy. Honestly you deserve it - we do not want to see you back in cricket - PD
imtiaz Apr 17, 2013 05:16pm
Greed of become rich overnight without working for it is common factor in Pakistan.
nasir siddique Apr 17, 2013 06:50pm
Hey Asif, Don't lose hope. We need a good bowler in our gully. Due to the narrowness of the gully we need someone to bowl one sid eof the wicket. So please if you're free let me know and I can give you my address. Oh yes and sometimes we do place bets as well, so there is something in it for you.
Amjad Soomro Apr 17, 2013 06:53pm
Yes Ramiz said right Asif never learnt from mistakes and he continued to make mistakes but in 2010 he mad a blunder and sory! he got punishment which he deserved.. Asif got great talent but he couldn't use it.. It hurts every fan of cricket in pakistan.
mehran Apr 17, 2013 08:50pm
Poor Asif!
Khalil Apr 18, 2013 12:00am
A bright star has turned to dust! This guy was better than Australian Mcgrar but his bad habits cost him his career. Lets hope others learn from his failure.
Waseem Arain Apr 18, 2013 12:50am
a very well deserved sentence.
Junaid Apr 18, 2013 05:36am
What a pity. Absence of counseling and absence of implementing rules has resulted in such failures. Hoping that this loss of talent serves as a lesson for the future kids. Temporary loss to Pakistan cricket for a longer term gain.
sfomann Apr 18, 2013 07:21am
As much as I would like him to play, I think its a good decision by the court and will server as a lesson for the rest
muzlee Apr 18, 2013 07:24am
he got what he deserved.
Sheraz Apr 18, 2013 08:52am
Asif has got no place in game of gentlemens. He deserved it...
Sheraz Apr 18, 2013 08:53am
What sympathy for him. He deserve this
GhostRider Apr 18, 2013 10:01am
Some people have talent but they dont have the temperament and class to stay humble...asif is a classical case of this description
anon Apr 18, 2013 12:58pm
With talent and oppurtunity, there comes responsibility to handle the situation. Asif blew it...