Mohammad Asif | Sportzwiki

Mohammad Asif

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan Should Give Youngsters Longer Run To Prove Themselves, Says Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq has explained that one of the things that are pulling down Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the younger players a long rope.

During the 1990s and 2000s, the contests between India and Pakistan used to be pretty evenly-matches. However, over the last few years, the contests have become a lot more one-sided. While India has developed a strong pool of players, Pakistan has not been able to do that at the same level as their rivals.

Imam-ul-Haq © AFP
Imam-ul-Haq © AFP

Imam-ul-Haq Spoke To Eoin Morgan And Virat Kohli As He Feels Pakistan Is Lacking As Their Cricketers Isn’t Given A Proper Run To Prove Themselves

Opening batsman Imam-Ul-Haq has explained that one of the things bothering Pakistan cricket is the unwillingness to give the young players a long rope, something that cricketing nations like India and England have excelled at.

India’s pool of players is vast and highly talented, whereas England isn’t much behind. Pakistan, on the other hand, have depth in their line-up of their youngsters, but Imam-ul-Haq reckons the management needs to show faith in their abilities and give them considerable opportunities to help them nurture.

Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Image Credit: Getty Images.

“I have spoken to Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli, two of the most successful captains in white-ball cricket. I have heard from them and their players that the cricketers get a full go and a proper run to prove themselves. I think this is where we are lacking,” Imam told sports presenter Sawera Pasha on the YouTube show ‘Cricast’.

“I think if we find that consistency, we will get better results. In South Africa, we managed to chase 330, because the core of the ODI side has been the same for a while.”

 Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has opined that players being underpaid compared to nations like India is one reason youngsters cannot express themselves freely out in the middle. Like the IPL, Pakistan has its own T20 league (PSL). However, according to Imam-ul-Haq, players don’t get paid enough, be it in the franchise or domestic cricket.
The 25-year-old revealed that he has even spoken to legends like Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli on why their (white-ball) teams are incredibly successful and how they managed to maintain consistency.

Imam-ul-Haq: IPL Has Made A Big Difference In India

Another reason why Pakistan is behind in terms of producing quality young cricketers such as India points out Imam is not getting the chance to play the IPL. Pakistan cricketers have been banned from playing the IPL, with their only appearance coming in the first-ever edition back in 2008. Imam-ul-Haq says a tournament of the calibre of IPL has gone a long way in shaping youngsters.

“So when they face these bowlers in international cricket, there is less of a mental barrier. For Pakistan, a player is directly drafted in from domestic cricket, so he finds it difficult to make that immediate adjustment,” Imam explained.
Sohail Tanvir IPL
Sohail Tanvir IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Apart from Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), other Pakistan cricketers like Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Salman Butt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (Kolkata Knight Riders) participated in IPL 2008.

Sohail Tanvir represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the T20 Championship and scripted history by claiming the Purple Cap. Rajasthan Royals was on a roll during IPL 2008 as they became the first franchise to lift the elite Trophy. Sohail Tanvir played a major role in Rajasthan’s success as he picked 22 wickets in 11 matches including a best of 6 for 14, which stood as an IPL record for many years.

Sohail Tanveer. (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Sohail Tanveer. (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Sohail Tanvir Maintains He Initially Had No Idea What IPL Was

Sohail Tanvir, a former Pakistan seamer was one among a handful of Pakistan players who received a chance to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sohail Tanvir represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the inaugural edition of the T20 Championship and scripted history by claiming the Purple Cap.

Rajasthan Royals was on a roll during IPL 2008 as they became the first franchise to lift the elite Trophy. Sohail Tanvir played a major role in Rajasthan’s success as he picked 22 wickets in 11 matches including a best of 6 for 14, which stood as an IPL record for many years.

Sohail Tanvir IPL
Sohail Tanvir IPL. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sohail Tanvir Was Young And Inexperienced When He Played IPL In Its Inaugural Edition In 2008

The veteran opened up on his stint in the Indian Premier League saying that it was an enriching experience and gave him a platform to play against some of the best players. Sohail Tanvir admitted that initially, he had no idea regarding what the IPL was.

In an interaction on the YouTube channel My Master Cricket Coach, the 36-year-old said, “When I played IPL back in the first edition in 2008, I was young and inexperienced as I had not played too many international games.”

“That time, I think we were playing a series against South Africa and league cricket hardly used to be played, so I had no idea what the IPL was. The cricket board told me that we have got you a contract and you have to go to play IPL in March-April,” he said

“And, when I went to play in the IPL, there were so many big stars. I had never thought about something like that. The best bowlers from all over the world were there. So, to go there and perform so well…” Tanvir added.

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) is a franchise cricket team based in Jaipur, India, which plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They were one of the eight teams that competed in the 2008 Indian Premier League. They were captained by Shane Warne. The all-rounder Shane Watson won the man of the tournament award for scoring as many as 472 runs and picking 17 wickets.

Shane Watson With Rahul Dravid (PTI)
Shane Watson With Rahul Dravid (PTI)

Rajasthan Royals finished winners in the IPL and qualified for the champions league T20. The team won the inaugural edition of the IPL under the captaincy of Shane Warne, despite being written off as a title contender by the media and fans. The Royals were also the runners-up of the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy.

On 14 July 2015, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were suspended for two years over a 2013 betting scandal, meaning they could not participate in both the 2016 and 2017 IPL tournaments. They returned to the competition for the 2018 season.

Sohail Tanvir: Everyone Knows About The Fan Following Of Pakistan Players In India And If Pakistan Players Are Allowed To Play In IPL, It Will Be Beneficial For Both Players And League

2008 was the last season when the Pakistan players played in the Indian Premier League. Due to the political tension between the two neighbouring nations, India and Pakistan face each other on the cricket field only during the ICC events. However, the veteran seamer is hopeful that relations between India and Pakistan will improve soon and the Pakistani players will be allowed to feature in the tournament as it will benefit both the players and the league.

“If Pakistani players are allowed to play in the IPL, it will be beneficial for both the players and the league. Players from all over the world except Pakistan play in the IPL. Everybody knows about the fan-following of Pakistan players in India. I have witnessed that while playing for Pakistan and also in the IPL.”

Shoaib Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Photo Credit: PTI
Shoaib Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Photo Credit: PTI

“When I played IPL, I learned a lot. Since I did well, it played a major role in me gaining confidence going ahead. So it would be great if our players get to play in the league. But, these things are not in our control. There are many other factors at work. Hope it happens sooner or later,” Sohail Tanvir signed off.

Apart from Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir, other Pakistan cricketers like Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Daredevils), Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals), Salman Butt (Kolkata Knight Riders), Umar Gul (Kolkata Knight Riders), Younis Khan (Rajasthan Royals), Mohammad Hafeez (Kolkata Knight Riders) participated in IPL 2008.

Salman Butt and Michael Vaughan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Salman Butt and Michael Vaughan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Some People Have Mental Constipation – Salman Butt Hits Out At Michael Vaughan

Salman Butt, a former Pakistan cricketer has responded to former England skipper Michael Vaughan’s scathing remarks on Twitter and described the “match-fixing” jibe as a “below the belt” hit. Salman Butt, in a video on his Youtube channel, had questioned Michael Vaughan’s remarks on India captain Virat Kohli and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

Michael Vaughan, in an interview on Spark Sport, had said that had Kane Williamson been an Indian, he would be called the world’s best batsman, directing that Virat Kohli’s huge fanbase in India is the reason most believe he alone is the best in the world.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Salman Butt Said Michael Vaughan Picked The Topic In The Wrong Context And His Reaction Was Below Average And Below The Belt

Salman Butt, in a video on his Youtube channel on Saturday, asked Michael Vaughan to back his remarks with necessary statistics and called his remarks “irrelevant”. In response, the former England captain took to social media and slammed Salman Butt for “corrupting” the sport with “match-fixing”

Now, in another video uploaded on his Youtube channel on Sunday, Salman Butt responded to Michael Vaughan and said that some people have “mental constipation”.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

“I don’t want to get into details. I just want to say that he’s picked the topic in the wrong context. There is no justification for a reaction like this. This is very below-average, below-the-belt. If he wants to live in the past and wants to talk about it, he surely can. Constipation is an illness. Things get stuck and they don’t come out that easily. Some people have mental constipation. Their minds are in the past. That doesn’t matter,” Salman Butt said on his YouTube channel.

Salman Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 ODI, and 24 T20Is for Pakistan and is believed to have sharp analytical skills, explained that Virat Kohli is the best because he has the record to be called the best. Salman Butt is a Pakistani cricket commentator, cricketer, and former captain who played for Pakistan national cricket team between 2003 and 2010, before getting banned for five years for his involvement in the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

Salman Butt: There Wasn’t Any Need For Michael Vaughan To Take The Matter Of Comparing Two Great Cricketersw Into A Different Direction

The 46-year old Michael Vaughan has commented that Kane Williamson is behind Virat Kohli only because he is not an Indian. The 2005 Ashes-winning captain feels that most people say Virat Kohli is the best to get more likes and followers. He claimed that Kane Williamson is equally the best all-format player and admired the Kiwi skipper for his humility and calmness at whatever he does.

“We spoke about two great players and there was no need to take it into a different direction. But he has opted to. The year he has mentioned, he can go on. It’s the past and it’s gone. But that doesn’t change the actual fact, which we spoke about. Had he provided some statistical presentation, some logic, some experienced-based observation, it would have been better. We too could have learned something.”

Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson (L) hugs India’s captain Virat Kohli after New Zealand’s win (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will come head to head in the much-anticipated World Test Championship final on June 18 in Southampton.

Virat Kohli has aggregated 7,490 runs from 91 Tests at a remarkable average of 52.37. The impressive tally includes 27 tons besides having a record seven double-tons in Tests. His highest score of 254* came against South Africa in 2019. Kane Williamson has scored 7,115 runs from 83 Tests with the best score of 251. In fact, Kane Williamson has a better Test average than Virat Kohli (54.31). He owns 24 tons and four double-centuries.

Notably, the ICC had banned Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, and Mohammad Asif for 10, 7, and 5 years respectively, which was later reduced after they were found guilty of spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test in 2010.

doping, cricketers
Mohammad Asif (Image Credit: Google)

Mohammad Asif Questions Credentials Of Pakistan’s Coaching Trio

Mohammad Asif, former Pakistan pacer questioned the credentials of the national team’s current coaching staff comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Waqar Younis. He is one of the several Pakistan cricketers to criticize the trio for the team’s underwhelming performances.

Mohammad Asif spoke at length about his international career which ended abruptly after his involvement in spot-fixing and the current state of Pakistan cricket during interaction with Kamran Akmal on his YouTube channel.

Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif
Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif. Image Credits: India Today

Mohammad Asif: Waqar Younis As Coach Is Nothing But Have Respect For Him As Player Same For Misbah Ul Haq And Younis Khan

Kamran Akmal asked Mohammad Asif if Waqar Younis had helped in his growth as a coach, or whether he improved by bowling alongside pacer Shoaib Akhtar who was known to bowl at a furious pace. The former pacer responded that the latter’s presence helped him more although the duo employed different methods for dismissing batsmen.

Mohammad Asif further added that the current set of Pakistan coaches – Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Waqar Younis – are not good enough for the job, though they were great players during their time.

“No doubt Shoaib bhai used to bowl fast and my attempt was to pitch the ball up to get the batsmen out. As a coach, if you ask me Waqar Younis is zero. He was great as a player. I have respect for him as a player. The three guys who are associated to the team currently – Younis bhai was a big player but he does not have any knowledge as a coach. Misbah is totally zero, as a player he was okay,” said Mohammad Asif.

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis (Image Credit: Google)

Mohammad Asif said his opinion was based on coaching videos he had seen on the Pakistan Cricket Board website when he was asked by the former wicket-keeper how he could judge Younis Khan though he wasn’t a batsman himself. But he reiterated that he didn’t doubt the trio’s prowess as players.

“I have seen a couple of videos on the PCB website. Even a neighborhood kid will tell you that he is telling the wrong thing. I am not talking about his credibility as a player. He has scored 10000 runs as a player, Misbah has also scored runs,” observed Mohammad Asif.

Under the coaches, Pakistan lost the 1st Test against New Zealand after losing the T20I series 2-1 although they won 3rd T20I which was a consolation win as New Zealand won first two T20Is. Against England too Pakistan lost Test series 1-0 and drew T20I series 1-1.

Mohammad Asif Feels Mohammad Amir Hasn’t Been Treated Fairly

Mohammad Asif believes Waqar Younis, a great bowler in his days could have got the best out of Mohammad Amir who retired from Tests recently to play in the shorter formats of the game.

“Waqar Younis no doubt was a great bowler. He has still kept the mentality of 1990s that this guy has done something wrong and he should be dropped. This is not how it should be, there are small-small things like the entire team became against Amir. Why is that the case? They can use him in T20Is and ODIs, if he has taken retirement from Test matches,” said Asif.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir Photo Credit: Getty Images

According to Mohammad Asif, Pakistan coaches need to look at things from a broader perspective in the interests of Pakistan rather than satisfying their own egos as Mohammad Amir contemplated retirement from international cricket after being ignored for New Zealand tour.

“You have to think about Pakistan and not about your own cricket. If you are the coach, you should have a big vision. They can tell him it’s fine if he has retired from Test cricket and they can use the new players in Tests. They could have still got work done from him but they have let him go because of their ego,” concluded Asif.

The current Pakistan coaching setup has received severe criticism and drew flak from various quarters after Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from international cricket. The left-arm pacer who quit Test cricket to concentrate in limited-overs format said that he is willing to reconsider his retirement decision but not under the current set of coaches led by Misbah Ul Haq and comprising of Waqar Younis and Younis Khan.

Mohammad Asif

Current Pakistan Pacers Don’t Have The Flexibility To Bowl 20-25 Overs: Mohammad Asif

Mohammad Asif, former Pakistan pacer said that the current crop of Pakistan pacers haven’t exhibited enough control in line and length and have been guilty of spraying the ball down the leg-side far too often.

The 38-year-old pacer reckons that the current bunch of Pakistan fast bowlers are older than what their age suggests. Mohammad Asif, who last appeared for Pakistan back in 2010, stated that the youngsters who are aged about 20 or more on paper appear 10 years older.

Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif (Image Credit: Google)

Mohammad Asif: Pakistan’s Young Pacers Don’t Have Flexibility To Bowl 20-25 Overs And Don’t Know How To Bend Body

Currently, pacers Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa Khan are the ones who are in their early or late 20s. Mohammad Asif feels they don’t have the ability to bowl long spells.

Mohammad Asif said that they appear aged and don’t have the flexibility to bowl 20-25 overs while speaking to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on the latter’s YouTube channel.

“And they are so aged. It is written as 17-18 years on paper, but they are actually 27-28 years old because they don’t have the flexibility to bowl 20-25 overs.”

“They don’t know how to bend the body; they become stiff. They are not able to stand on the field after bowling a 5-6 over spell,” Mohammad Asif stated.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. Credits: ICC

Shaheen Afridi has taken 39 wickets in 12 Tests, Mohammad Musa is yet to pick a wicket in 1 Test he played and Naseem Shah has picked 20 wickets in 8 Tests. Mohammad Hasnain has played 6 ODIs and 10 T20Is.

Mohammad Asif: It Might Have Been 5-6 Years Since A Pacer Took 10 Wickets In A Test Match

Mohammad Asif said that the current pacers had difficulties to pick up wickets at regular intervals and have been found wanting even in seamer-friendly conditions. The 38-year-old quipped that the paces haven’t exhibited enough control while bowling and have sprayed the ball down the leg-side far too often.

“I feel it might have been 5-6 years since a fast bowler took 10 wickets in a match. We used to salivate after seeing the pitches like the ones in New Zealand. There was no question of leaving the ball as a fast bowler. I never used to leave the ball before taking a five-wicket haul,” he stated.

Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“These kids do not have the knowledge. They don’t know how to keep the batsman on the front foot, not give them a single and how to bowl on the wickets. When they try to bowl on the wickets, it goes down the leg-side. They do not have the control,” Mohammad Asif added.

Though Mohammad Asif’s career was short-lived due to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal at the Lord’s, he picked 106 wickets from 23 Tests and was somewhat effective in the longest format. Also, in 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is, the speedster picked up 46 and 13 wickets respectively.

doping, cricketers
Mohammad Asif (Image Credit: Google)

Top 10 Cricketers Who Faced Suspensions For The Doping Violation

With the time progress, world sports have become serious in doping. At present, most of the sports strictly follow the doping rules to deliver fair competition.

Like the other sports, cricket also follows similar strict rules in doping. If the cricketers fail in the dope test, the governing bodies punish them. The players sometimes involve in this unknowingly due to taking the banned medicines.

Most of the times, the cricketers face suspension for the doping violation. It hurts them hugely as they lose trust.

Here are the top ten cricketers who faced suspensions for the doping violation.

10. Yusuf Pathan

doping, cricketers
Yusuf Pathan (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The all-rounder Yusuf Pathan is famous for his aggressive batting. He has played 79 international matches for India, and he was a member of India’s victories in 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Read More : Virender Sehwag Calls Steven Smith As One Of The Best Test Batsmen

In March 2017, during a domestic T20 competition, Pathan provided a urine sample as part of the BCCI’s anti-doping testing program. After testing that sample, it was found to contain Terbutaline. This substance is prohibited both In & Out of Competition in the WADA prohibited list of substances.

The BCCI handed Pathan for a back-dated five months suspension that ended on 14th January 2018.

Photo Credit: AFP.

Mohammad Amir Confessed About Spot-Fixing After Afridi Slapped Him- Abdul Razzaq

Former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Razzaq has revealed that Shahid Afridi slapped Mohammad Amir to make the youngster confess on spot fixing. Spot fixing scandal in 2010 shook the cricketing world and three Pakistan players were involved.

The scandal tarnished the image of Pakistan cricket in front of all others. The all rounder went on to reveal that his fellow teammate Salman Butt was involved in corrupted activities from much earlier days.

“He (Afridi) told me to leave the room but after a while I heard the sound of a slap and then Amir told the whole truth,” Razzaq said.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir

The 39-year old Razzaq also was disappointed with the way PCB acted during the scandal. He revealed that no proactive actions by the board made negative image on Pakistan cricket across the world.

“I thought instead of going to the ICC to prove its efficiency, the PCB should have instead directly taken the three players to task despite their denials and sent them back home on some pretext. They should have banned them for a year or so. In the end by not doing this, the PCB spoilt the image of Pakistan cricket worldwide.”

Razzaq was sure that Salman Butt was involved in corruption much before.

Speaking on Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq revealed an incident where he got his doubts on Salman Butt. Eventually, he told Shahid Afridi but Afridi just dismissed the doubts on the occasion.

Mohammad Amir Confessed About Spot-Fixing After Afridi Slapped Him- Abdul Razzaq 1

“I shared my concerns with Afridi but he said it is just my waham (misconception) and nothing is wrong. But when I was batting with Salman Butt during a match of the World T20 in West Indies, I was convinced he was letting down the team.”

“I was surprised when he refused this strategy. When I realised what he was up to (something) I told him strictly to give me the strike. Yet every over he deliberately played two or three balls and then gave me strike. I got upset and felt the pressure and got out.”

The spot fixing scandal had created tremors in cricketing world. It happened when Pakistan were touring England in 2010. At the iconic Lord’s, Mohammad Amir was found bowling deliberate no balls.

On further investigation, the spot fixing came to the limelight. ICC took severe action against all the three players involved. Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were all found guilty in the scandal.

Mohammad Amir Confessed About Spot-Fixing After Afridi Slapped Him- Abdul Razzaq 2

Eventually, they were handed bans from all forms of cricket. Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were given 10 year bans, while Mohammad Amir was banned for 5 years. But the ban was later reduced for the former two players as well as they trio served at least 5 years of ban.

However, Mohammad Amir is the only player who made a comeback into Pakistan national team. He is currently representing Pakistan in World Cup 2019.

Hashim Amla, ICC World Cup 2019
Hashim Amla back at his best. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The Best Fast Bowler I Ever Faced is Mohammad Asif – Hashim Amla

South African veteran batsman Hashim Amla has effusively praised Mohammad Asif, who appeared as the wily customer with the new and old ball for Pakistan. Interestingly, when asked who is the best fast bowler he has during his ongoing international career, Amla did not hesitate to say it was Asif. The prominent bowler brought down batters on their knees with his remarkable precision and above all the guile.

“Mohammad Asif is the best one [I faced], and [I know] he got banned for [spot] fixing but at that stage, he was the best fast bowler I’ve ever faced. He was not quick, 135kph maybe, but his accuracy was phenomenal,” Amla told SuperSport.

In 2010, Asif’s career received a massive jolt when he got subsequently charged in the spot-fixing saga in England. Following the episode, the reports in now-defunct News of the World tabloid suggested the trio plotted things during the Lord’s Test in August 2010. He faced the immediate ban alongside the then skipper Salman Butt and left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir.

Eventually, it led to the banning of Asif for five years. But unfortunately, the star bowler is yet to make a return to the national fold. Recently, Asif has been banking on some incredible performances in the first-class set-up.

Asif and accuracy:

In the recent past, Asif has not only inspired the youngsters but eventually won accolades from opponents for his impressive bowling. The 36-year-old Sheikhupura, Punjab-born star has carved out a niche since making his international debut against Australia at Sydney in January 2005.

Hashim Amla, Mohammad Asif, Pakistan, South Africa
Mohammad Asif has grabbed the eyeballs for his phenomenal accuracy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

During his career, Asif has earned a wide fan-base. He appeared to be one of the toughest bowlers to face irrespective of the conditions.

In the recent past, England Cricket Team veteran Kevin Pietersen alongside former Proteas skipper AB de Villiers has lavished praise on Asif for his resilience. Asif impressed many with the way of teasing the batsmen.

Amla revealed he had a chat with other professionals who felt the same about Asif. The Proteas batting stalwart has termed Asif as the ‘magician of the ball.’

“Funnily enough, as the years have gone by, meeting other cricketers from home, the world over, just loosely chatting… so many of the guys feel exactly the same thing. They said Mohammad Asif was a magician of the ball in a way,” Amla stated.

Asif left batters in a dilemma:

The right-handed Amla maintained he couldn’t understand which way the ball was going when Asif was bowling at him. He reminisced about the incident of 2007 when the Proteas were in Pakistan.

Hashim Amla, Mohammad Asif, Pakistan, South Africa
Mohammed Asif on his return has been representing a domestic side WAPDA. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Amla often made things miserable for the bowlers with his solid technique. He asserted Asif has regularly tested batsman with his sheer consistency.

“We played him in South Africa and even in Pakistan in 2007. [If] he landed in the first stump I didn’t know if it was nipping away or nipping in… He tested your defence really, to the maximum,” Amla added.

Between 2005 and 2010, Asif featured in 38 One-day Internationals, 23 Tests and 11 Twenty20 Internationals for Pakistan. He bagged 167 wickets across formats.

Sarfraz Nawaz, FIR, Islamabad, PCB, Spot-fixing, Death Threats, Bookmakers, PSL, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif,
Nawaz made his international debut in 1969 against England at Karachi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Sarfraz Nawaz Receives ‘Death Threat’ from Illegal Bookmakers

Former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz, who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons on Friday went on to complain the illegal bookmakers, who threatened his life for asking him not speak against the bookie mafias.

According to the report published in Dawn, the First Investigation Report (FIR) was handed over to the concerned police in Islamabad.

Sarfraz Nawaz, FIR, Islamabad, PCB, Spot-fixing, Death Threats, Bookmakers, PSL, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif,
Nawaz also lambasted PCB after the second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) was hit by spot-fixing saga in February this year. Photo Credit: Google/Web.

(Read Also: Sarfraz Ahmed Laments Losing Sharjeel Khan to PSL Spot-Fixing)

In a startling revelation, Nawaz pointed in FIR that his car was stopped when he was returning home alongside his friend following the court proceedings as a witness on October 13.

The 68-year-old Lahore-born – Nawaz remarked he was asked not to speak about the players and the board at first instance else he is bound to face the dire consequences.

Sarfraz Nawaz, FIR, Islamabad, PCB, Spot-fixing, Death Threats, Bookmakers, PSL, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif,
Two Pakistan national players Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan were banned for five years respectively. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Moreover, Nawaz asserted his wife and children is being put under threat as two unidentified men carrying weapons further warned him to not give statements in the apex body against the bookies.

After filing the complaint with police, Nawaz further asked for security while revealing they could try to harm him anytime.

However, the protection is being discussed thoroughly with senior officials for Sarfraz, who already informed the Industrial Area of Islamabad’s assistant commissioner regarding the grave matter.

Sarfraz Nawaz, FIR, Islamabad, PCB, Spot-fixing, Death Threats, Bookmakers, PSL, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif,
Nawaz played 55 Tests and 45 ODIs for Pakistan which saw him collecting 240 wickets across formats. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Termed as attention ‘seeker,’ Nawaz in the recent past has been vocal to speak against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and went on to criticise the players who failed to perform while donning the national jersey.

Pertinently, according to the FIR, Nawaz revealed he had become the soft target of an international business syndicate who are trying to corrupt the gentleman’s game.

While being adamant in approach and for speaking against the bookmakers and over social media platforms Nawaz stated it had been the sole reason for him to take a matter of bookmakers in court.

While making his appearances on television, Sarfraz has further warned the bookies for maligning the game of cricket.

Sarfraz Nawaz, FIR, Islamabad, PCB, Spot-fixing, Death Threats, Bookmakers, PSL, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif,
When Pakistan’s head hung in shame following infamous no-balls at iconic Lord’s in 2010. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The former Test bowler has been a whistleblower in the spot-fixing scandal which had brought a lousy image to the cricketing country like Pakistan which included the infamous 2010 Lord’s saga when former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir faced the five-year sentence.

In the similar episode in 2010, Nawaz received a death threat from unknown men when he was intercepted around a famous jogging park of Kachnar, located in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

Concluding, Nawaz has been giving his statements before the judges and additional session judges, in a bid to fight against the menace of the fixing, as PCB has already taken a firm action to eradicate the fixing scandals by pronouncing severe punishments for the culprits.

Kevin Pietersen Reveals The Best Bowler He Has Ever Faced In His International Career

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has revealed Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif was the best bowler that he has ever faced in his international career for his subtle variations before picking his best batsman he has played ever played against in the form of Ricky Pointing and Jacques Kallis.

“The best bowler I faced was Mohammad Asif, the bowler from Pakistan who got done for (spot)-fixing. Probably not a bad thing because he tormented a lot of batters,” Pietersen said.

Pietersen, who plays for Melbourne Stars in the KFC Big Bash League in Australia, has admitted it in Mark Howard’s podcast programme, The Howie Games.

After the Lord’s infamous Test in 2010, Mohammad Asif, who made the first-class return in October last year, was banned for over five years alongside his the then skipper Salman Butt and teammate Mohammad Amir for deliberately bowling a no-ball.

“Just his ability to make a batsman feel like the ball was accelerating off the wicket in different directions,” Pietersen added.

Pietersen, the top-order batsman, who has played 104 Tests for England was picked by Asif for a golden duck in 2006 at the Oval.

“If I was in good form, he made sure I wasn’t in good form a couple of weeks later after playing him,” Pietersen further added.

The Shiekhpura-born Asif has removed Pietersen for four times before Pakistan’s first Test in England in 2010.

“If I wasn’t in good form, I knew I wasn’t in good form after playing him for a couple of weeks during a series,” Pietersen remarked.

Asif, who took 106 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 24.36, has deceived several veteran batsmen with his uncanny seam movement during his short international career.

After former Australian fast-bowler Brett Lee and Sri Lankan former ace spinner Muttiah Muralidaran dismissed English batsman for over six times. Aussie fast bowler has removed the right-handed batsman over 10 times in Tests.

The KwaZulu-Natal-born Pietersen has scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47.12. In 136 ODIs he has amassed 4,440 runs at an average of 40.73.