Asif is confident of playing in World Cup despite suspension

Karachi: Pakistan’s controversial fast bowler Mohammad Asif is confident of playing in the 2011 World Cup despite the pending allegations of spot-fixing and the International Cricket Council’s suspension.

Asif on Tuesday said he was confident that he would get cleared of all allegations and suspensions by the time the World Cup was played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“I optimistically see myself playing in the World Cup despite all the recent problems. That is why I am training regularly and keeping myself very fit,” said Asif, who also got married in late September.

The pacer, who was provisionally suspended by the ICC anti-corruption unit on September 2 in the wake of spot-fixing allegations, said, “Playing in the World Cup remains and I am keen to play in the coming tournament and I am confident I can successfully get these allegations and suspensions removed.”

Asif surprised the cricket world last week by withdrawing his appeal against the provisional suspension by the ICC which had already scheduled a hearing in Doha later this month.

But Asif maintained he wanted to not only challenge the suspension but also the spot fixing allegations against him.

“We are going for a full hearing into the spot fixing allegations against me and this suspension which I think the ICC has ratify in December or remove it if they can’t confirm the charges against me,” he said.

He indicated that the ICC had also charged him with intentionally bowling a no-ball in the fourth test against England at Lords.

“The no-ball was part of a tactic to upset the batsmen, I don’t think it is such a big allegation,” he added.

Asif said he was happy that his fans, family and friends were behind him and that is why he intended to challenge the spot fixing allegations and suspensions properly at one time soon.

Scotland Yard is investigating spot fixing allegations against the three Pakistani cricketers but have so far not given any public statement on the issue or on their findings as yet.

All three players are barred from playing at any level because of their suspensions and even the PCB stopped them from training at the National cricket academy because of ICC rules.

Asif said he was not bothered by the PCB decision as they had done what had to be done according to the ICC rules and regulations.

“They did the right thing because of this suspension. I can go and practice and train anywhere including my club ground so it is not okay with me,” he said.