OSLO: Fast bowler Mohammad Asif has ended up playing in Norway as he plots a return to Test cricket, five years after a notorious spot-fixing scandal, a report said. Utv Pakistan Report
Asif, 33, told the Cricinfo website he was playing with Oslo´s Christiania Cricket Club to work on his fitness and was “100 percent sure” he´d play for Pakistan again.
Asif was caught bowling no-balls to order against England at Lord´s in 2010, an offence which landed him with a jail term and a five-year ban.
“One of my friends called me to ask me to come and play some cricket,” he said, of his arrival in the cricketing backwater.
“There´s good weather for training — that´s why I came here. The cricketing standard is not too high but it´s still cricket.”
Asif´s one-time new-ball partner Mohammad Amir, now 24, is back in the Pakistan squad despite his involvement in the spot-fixing and is in line to return to Test cricket — uncannily, at Lord´s — next month.
But Asif and Salman Butt, their former captain who was also punished over the scandal, remain outside the international fold.
“Hopefully I will do well in Pakistan and get selected for the national team for the tours to New Zealand and Australia,” Asif said, referring to Pakistan´s two series from November to January.
“It´s quite difficult after five years to come down and bowl fast but I´m a different kind of bowler,” he added.
“I´m not like a 100-mile bowler — I´m more dependent on swing and seam, they´re my main weapons. My pace was always 130 or 135 kph (81-84 mph).
“This (Oslo) is a good pace for swing. I just need good fitness.”