Islamabad: Disgraced Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Asif remained adamant that his six-month sentence has had no effect on his fitness as he looks to make a comeback after his release from prison, according to reports.
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 one-year 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 making a comeback.
“I am really happy to be out since I have seen a very hard time,” The Express Tribune quoted Asif, as saying.
“These six months were difficult. The place has lots of gym facilities and we kept ourselves busy by playing football and badminton. I used the gym regularly and I am in good shape. The prison staff was very supportive,” he added.
One of the many questions faced by Asif 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 playing for his national team 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,” Asif said.
Asif has been allowed by the Home Office to remain in the UK to pursue his appeal against the spot-fixing convictions and until his appeal is completed against his conviction.