Mohammad Asif Biography
Mohammad Asif – you hear the name and fall in love with the natural artistic bowling coupled with one of the smoothest run-ups any international bowler hardly possessed. Then you come to terms with some of the worst things that we ever witnessed in cricket and the bowler is, unfortunately, part of it, that's Mohammad Asif for you!
Asif was born in in Sheikhupura and played first-class cricket for Khan Research Labs and Quetta in his initial years.
Asif’s ability to swing the ball both ways to go with his nagging line and length and maintain it for long spells ensured that he immediately came under the selectors’ radar. After impressing in domestic Pakistani cricket, Asif was fast-tracked into the Pakistan test squad.
The controversial bowler made his first appearance against Australia in January 2005. He bowled 18 overs without taking a wicket and Australia won by 9 wickets.
Notwithstanding his unimpressive returns, he was considered a bowler to look forward to primarily because of Pakistan’s search for that consistent bowler to aid their pace battery.
Rise to Glory
It was the third Test against India in 2006, in Karachi, however, where Asif would make headlines. After a poor batting display by Pakistan, Asif took 4 for 78 in the first innings, including the wickets of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid to help Pakistan take a six-run lead. Asif returned in the second innings with three big wickets to lead Pakistan to victory, thereby giving them a series win.
Asif followed up his match-winning efforts against India in Pakistan's next tour in Sri Lanka, where he took a career-best 11 for 70 in the 2nd Test, in another dramatic come-from-behind victory.
Other performances worth mentioning came at The Oval and on tours to South Africa and Australia where Asif enjoyed the greatest moments in his career.
On 16 October 2006, Asif was suspended by the PCB along with teammate Shoaib Akhtar and was pulled from the Champions Trophy after the pair failed drug tests for the performance-enhancing substance Nandrolone.
In 2010, the 34-year-old was handed a seven-year ban from the International Cricket Council and received a one-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom for his part in the spot-fixing scandal, which also implicated team-mates Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt.
In November 2005, Asif was signed up by Leicestershire for 2006 season. He was also snapped up by the Delhi Daredevils for the first season of the IPL.
Asif returned to first-class cricket in October 2016, featuring the Water and Power Development Authority in the third round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.