Published on 26 Sep 2014 | over 2 years ago
Mohammad Asif (Urdu: محمد آصف, born 20 December 1982) is a Pakistani right-arm fast medium bowler in cricket. Asif was born in Gujjar family in Sheikhupura, and has played first-class cricket for Khan Research Labs, the National Bank, Quetta, Sheikhupura, Sialkot and Leicestershire. He made his Test match debut for the Pakistan cricket team against Australia in January 2005.
In 2006, there was a cricket controversy involving Asif, after he tested positive for anabolic steroid, Nandrolone, before having a ban imposed on him overturned on appeal. He was later withdrawn from Pakistan's World Cup squad with an unrelated injury. Further cricket controversy followed when he was detained in Dubai suspected of having drugs on his person and was then found to have tested positive for a banned substance during the Indian Premier League. In August 2010 he was accused by the News of the World of deliberately bowling no-balls in return for payment from a BETTING syndicate. On 5 February 2011 a 3-man tribunal, appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the verdict that he was to be banned for 7 years, with 2 of those suspended if no further offences were committed. In November 2011, Asif was convicted, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir, of conspiracy charges relating to spot-fixing. On 3 November 2011, Asif was given a one-year prison sentence for his role in the scandal.
After impressing in domestic Pakistani cricket, Asif was fast tracked into the Pakistan test squad and made his first appearance against Australia in January 2005. He bowled 18 overs without taking a wicket and Australia won by 9 wickets.
Asif was subsequently dropped from the side but returned a year later in January 2006 for the home tour against India. In the second Test, Asif bowled 34 overs and took the wicket of Yuvraj Singh. It was the third Test 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 V. V. S. Laxman, Rahul Dravid and, once again, Yuvraj Singh, to help Pakistan take a six-run lead. Asif returned in the second innings with three clean bowled wickets of Virender Sehwag, Laxman, and Sachin Tendulkar to lead Pakistan to victory. His series against the Indians was blighted by a fine imposed by match referee Chris Broad for over-appealing and premature celebration of a wicket. The ODI series that followed this Pakistan lost 4–1 to India.
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.
In November 2005, Leicestershire announced the signing of Asif for the 2006 season after he had played a game for their second XI in 2004. Leicestershire's chairman Neil Davidson described him as a "bowler with the ability to generate great pace". Asif did relatively well picking up 25 wickets in 7 first class games before leaving to join the Pakistan squad for their tour of England. Asif was due to line up again with Leicestershire for the 2007 season but due to injury problems was asked not to play by the PCB
Asif missed the first three Tests in Pakistan's tour to England in the summer of 2006, but returned to the side for the fourth Test and immediately made an impact, picking up four wickets (Andrew Strauss, Alistair Cook, Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen) in the first innings at the Oval, and another in the second (Marcus Trescothick).