Disgraced Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif on Wednesday publicly confessed to his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal during the Lord’s Test and tendered an unconditional apology to the countrymen for his actions.
Nearly three years after he was handed a seven-year ban by the ICC from any form of cricket, the 30-year-old fast bowler admitted to his guilt for the first time.
The 30-year-old is the last of three players to come out with a confession, after team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer admitted their part and presented themselves for rehabilitation.
“I accept the punishment from the ICC tribunal in 2011. I apologise for my actions that have brought disrespect to my beloved country, to the millions of fans in Pakistan and in the world. When I look back at the events of my career, I feel very sorry,” Asif said during a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.
Asif along with pace partner Mohammad Aamir and then-captain Salman Butt were banned by the ICC for agreeing to bowl deliberate no-balls in return for money during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.
An anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC banned Butt for 10 years with five suspended, Asif for seven years with two suspended and Aamir for five years.
“I request all the players who want to represent their country that they must keep away from all sorts of corruption,” Asif said.
“I am ready to help any player who wants to avoid such pitfalls. I will duly cooperate with the ICC, its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and with the PCB, in fighting corruption in the game,” he added.
Asif also said that he was ready to undertake PCB’s rehabilitation programme. “I also want to make myself available for the rehab programme to be conducted by the PCB through the support of the ICC,” he said.
“I have suffered a lot because of my wrongdoings. Now on the Independence Day of my country, I promise that once my ban finishes I will try to repair the damage I have done. My family has also suffered so I want to start a new life with a hope that all the fans of the game accept me,” Asif said.
Before the ban, Asif had taken 106 wickets in 23 Tests and was widely regarded as one of the most skillful new ball bowlers in the game.
Controversies are not new to Asif as his career was first derailed in 2006 when he and Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for banned steroids.
The duo later got a reprieve from the a tribunal appointed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) but Asif failed another dope test during the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, resulted in a one-year ban.