Mohammad Asif, the 39-year-old bowler from Pakistan, is known to be one of the biggest wasted talents in the history of cricket. His downfall certainly brings a sour taste to all the Pakistani fans. He was once loved by all of Asia and was meant to be one of the best bowlers in the world. But then he cost himself his career and respect.
The Success of Mohammad Asif
He was off to a much rather disappointing start in international cricket. He had been dropped from the side early on. He made a comeback though in the India V Pak series in 2006. In the third test match, Asif impressed taking 4-78. He managed to take wickets of very important batsmen with the likes of VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, and Rahul Dravid. In the second innings, he cleaned bowled Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, and the great Sachin Tendulkar. Inspiring Pakistan to a great victory.
He managed to keep a high standard with performances in Sri Lanka and England. Asif also became the first bowler to bowl a maiden in the new T20 format. The swing sensation had a knack for taking wickets. He bamboozled South Africa in 2007 taking a mammoth 19 wickets. This achievement saw him reach eighth in the ICC rankings after just nine innings. He equalled the record of fastest to top 10 alongside Waqar Younis and Pervez Sajjad.
Inzamam ul-Haq was quite impressed saying,” He has amazing control over line and length and a natural ability to swing the bowl.”.
He had this crazy talent to make the ball swing almost to the point where people thought it was magic. He made batsmen look confused as to how the ball was reaching them with such a swerve.
The Downfall of Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif’s downfall is something that does not belong in sports. He had been found spot-fixing with fellow Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir and captain Salman Butt. They deliberately bowled no-balls during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010 in return for payment. This was an utter disgrace to all of Pakistan. The cricket world was shocked. So many questions were raised as to why. He could have been one of the best as he had the potential.
The International Cricket Council had announced that they had suspended the three players. Asif and Amir wanted to appeal the decision. On February 5th, 2011 the tribunal decided that they were guilty of the offence. He was banned from the sport for seven years. He also had to take part in the Pakistan Cricket Board anti-corruption program.
This had practically ended his career. This brought sorrow to all of the cricketing fans across the globe as he was so skilled. Many people had their say on the matter for example Wasim Akram. Kevin Pietersen even said that batsmen were lucky he got banned as he was too good. In truth, he wasted his career and could have gone on to be legendary.