Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has once again grabbed the limelight with his statement. Recently, the legendary pacer said that his former teammate Mohammad Asif was a better bowler than him. Asif played 72 international games for his country before he was banned due to his involvement in the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal.
For the unversed, in that year, Pakistan toured England where the then skipper Salman Butt, pacers Mohammad Amir and Asif were arrested for trying to influence some of the outcomes of a Test match. Butt and Asif were banned for 10 and 7 years respectively, while Amir was slapped with five years of punishment. The first two players didn’t get to play any more games for the nation while Amir retired from the international scene last year.
Meanwhile, Akhtar has said that he felt like an ordinary pacer in comparison to Asif. The Rawalpindi-born also revealed that he was hurt to see his junior player ruining his career in such as way. Akhtar made a claim that Asif was an equivalent to Wasim Akram, who was called a magician with the ball during his heydays.
“I use to feel as an ordinary fast bowler infront of Mohammad Asif. It was a very hurtful moment for me when Mohammad Asif destroyed himself by getting involved in match-fixing. Mohammad Asif was indeed a magician fast bowler. His class was equivalent to Wasim Akram,” said Akhtar in an interview with Spotskeeda.
At the time of the incident, Asif was around 27, and had a lot of cricket left. There are a lot of former cricketers and commentators who have maintained that the Sheikhupura-born player could have played more and had immense talent. After his ban was lifted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) around 2016, he went on to play club cricket in his country.
Not to forget, he is one of the few players from his country to play in the Indian T20 League. He played for Delhi in the inaugural edition in 2008.