Asif criticises timing of ICC's spot-fixing verdict
Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan bowler who was imprisoned in England for spot-fixing, has criticised the ICC, claiming cricket's governing body prejudiced his case ahead of the criminal trial in London by the timing of the verdict of its independent inquiry. Asif was speaking in Lahore, following his return from England five months after completing half of his one-year sentence.
Asif, along with Salman Butt, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in November 2011, on charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls bowled during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010. Mohammad Amir, the third player accused by the Crown Prosecution Service, had pleaded guilty to the charges.
However, the three players had already been found guilty by an ICC tribunal on February 5, 2011, and were banned for various durations. Asif's ban was for seven years and that punishment was announced a day after the CPS levied its charges against the players.
"It was quite difficult time, but thank god it is over," he said. "The way ICC has prejudiced my case, there are lots of things which are not yet clear and nobody knows it, even you people [the media] have not highlighted it, but I will do it.
"I didn't do anything wrong. There was one no-ball and, whatever the scenario was behind it, I described it in the court. There are lots of things and it will be in my book, which will be launched very soon."
Asif claimed he was going to appeal against the ICC's ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland and a hearing, he said, would take place in February 2013. "There's a hearing in February, second or third week, and it will be decided. Hopefully I will get justice there because it's just the ICC and me, and Inshallah everything will be all right.
"I'm fighting my own case, I have my own legal team," Asif said, criticising the Pakistan board as well. "They [PCB] have their own policy and they took a back step, when I think they should have taken a step forward."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent