When you hear the name Mohammad Asif, you instantly fall in love with his innate imaginative bowling and one of the smoothest run-ups any international bowler has ever had. Then you have to deal with some of the worst moments in cricket history, and the bowler is, sadly, a part of it; that’s Mohammad Asif for you!
Asif was born in Sheikhupura and spent his early years playing first-class cricket for Khan Research Labs and Quetta.
Asif’s ability to swing the ball both directions, along with his nagging line and length, and keep it for long periods of time, placed him on the radar of the selectors right away. Asif was fast-tracked into the Pakistan test squad after impressing in domestic Pakistani cricket.
In January 2005, the notorious bowler made his debut against Australia. Australia prevailed by 9 wickets after he bowled 18 overs without taking a wicket.
Despite his mediocre performances, he was regarded as a bowler to watch, owing to Pakistan’s ongoing hunt for a reliable pace bowler to supplement their pace battery.
Rise to Glory
However, it was the third Test against India in Karachi in 2006 that made Asif famous. Following Pakistan’s weak batting performance, Asif took 4 for 78 in the first innings, including the wickets of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, to help Pakistan capture a six-run lead. In the second innings, Asif returned with three major wickets to lead Pakistan to victory and a series victory.
Asif followed up his match-winning efforts against India with another dramatic come-from-behind triumph in Sri Lanka, where he took a career-best 11 for 70 in the second Test.
Leicestershire signed Asif in November 2005 for the 2006 season. For the first season of the IPL, he was also signed by the Delhi Daredevils.
In October 2016, Asif made his comeback to first-class cricket, playing for the Water and Power Production Authority in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy’s third round.