London, May 5: Disgraced Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif, who was released from prison in the UK after spending just half of his one year term, has said that there was no evidence against him.
“I spent the six months under difficult circumstances. But despite the difficulties, I kept my fitness and I am thankful to my fans and family for supporting me during this difficult phase,” ,” Asif said, in his first public remarks since being freed from a Canterbury jail on Thursday.
The 29-year-old was jailed by a London court in November after being found guilty of conspiring to cheat and accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in August 2010.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Asif, his team-mate Mohammad Aamer who was released in February, and former Test captain Salman Butt who is still serving his 30-month term in the same prison as Asif, from playing cricket for five years.
“I was shocked when I was handed that 12-month jail term, and when they termed me guilty I was very surprised because there was no evidence against me,” Gulf News quoted Asif, as saying.
He expressed hope that his lawyer Ravi Sukul would overturn the ICC ban.
“I am fitter than before because I was using the gym and although I didn’t get to play much cricket, I played badminton and football,” a confident Asif said, claiming that he could still bowl as well as ever.
“You don’t tell a fish how to swim, so I have not forgot how to bowl,” he added.
Once considered a fast-rising talent, Asif twice failed dope tests, in 2006 and 2008, the second during the inaugural Indian Premier League season which ended in a one-year ban. He was also detained in Dubai for 19 days in June 2008 for possession of a banned drug. (ANI)