Sharjah: Mohammad Asif, Pakistan’s enigmatic pacer, will be in action during the 10PL tennis ball cricket tournament to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from March 19.
Confirming this, Abdul Latif Khan, who conceptualised this tournament said: “Asif will play for the Shehenshah Warriors team from Pakistan. This is one of the 16 teams that will be participating in the tournament.”
Asif, who hasn’t played international cricket since 2010 following the spot-fixing scandal that derailed his promising career, had returned to domestic cricket in March 2016 after his five-year ban. He was among the top ranked bowlers during 2010. He has played 23 Tests, 38 ODIs and 11 Twenty20 Internationals.
Last year, 35-year-old Asif had expressed his hopes of return to international cricket. “The dream is just to come back to play for three to four years. I want to play a good standard of cricket again — that’s my dream,” he had remarked after returning to England for a while to play club cricket.
Talking about playing in the 10PL, Asif said: “I have played this form of cricket a lot on the streets of Pakistan. Almost all of us have learnt a lot by playing this brand of cricket. I am hoping to pass on my experience to the rest of the squad and along the way, gain a lot myself. I cannot wait to get back on the field at the Sharjah stadium.”
Last year, Asif representing Water and Power Development Authority produced a deadly spell of 4 for 85 against Sui Southern Gas Corporation in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy in Pakistan.
The 10PL tournament, which has legendary pacer Wasim Akram as brand ambassador, is the richest tennis ball tournament with a prize money of Dh250,000. In the first edition, former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider had participated in the tournament.
“We want everyone who wants to enjoy playing the game and also love to return to their roots of playing with tennis ball cricket to play here in this tournament. Asif plays domestic cricket in Pakistan and hence, it will nice to watch him display his skills in tennis ball cricket,” said Latif.