Disgraced Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Asif remained adamant that his six-month sentence had no effect on his fitness as he looks to make a comeback after his release from prison, according to Geo News.
Asif, who was found guilty over his role in the spot-fixing scandal that marred Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010, was released on Thursday after serving half of his 12-month sentence at the Canterbury Prison in Kent.
While he is still serving a five-year ban from all cricketing activity, placed on him by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the fast-bowler said that he kept himself fit in prison and was looking forward to taking the field again.
“I am really happy to be out since I have seen a very hard time,” said Asif. “These six months were difficult. The place has lots of gym and facilities and we kept ourselves busy by playing football and badminton. I used the gym regularly and I am in good shape. The staff in the prison was very supportive.”
One of the many questions faced by Asif, who has opted to stay in the UK after deciding to appeal against his conviction, is his possible future in the game and the prospect, if any, of his inclusion in the national side once the ICC sanction is over.
Asif, however, was hopeful of donning the national colours once again and remained confident of attaining his previous consistency levels.
“A fish will never forget how to swim. A bowler doesn’t forget how to bowl well. I have maintained my fitness while being in prison and I will try my best to keep up with the requirements.
“I would like to be back in the ground playing and I hope my fans see me back soon.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2012.