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Asif eyes comeback in PSL5

Pakistan pacer is putting in the hard yards to stay fit

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan Test pacer Mohammad Asif is keen to make a comeback in mainstream cricket, by securing a place in the fifth edition of HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Recent inclusion of his ex-teammate and former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt in PSL has raised Asif hopes of securing a contract next season.

While talking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Asif emphasized that he is looking forward to the next season of PSL.

“I have continued my practice to keep myself fit for the next season. I have keenly followed the PSL this season, and hope to be a part of it next season,” said Asif.

The right-arm pacer also advised Pakistan team to be wary of introducing bowlers into the Test side, on basis of their performance in the T20 format.

“Quantity of bowlers has increased, while the quality has gone down” he said. “You need experience of around 50 first-class matches to win Tests. Thus, we should not include bowlers who perform in PSL, straight into the Test side.”

The 36-year-old was also not happy with cricket becoming increasingly difficult for bowlers.

“Cricket has become really hard for fast-bowlers as everything is being done to favour the batsmen. Introduction of short boundaries has made the game more like baseball, as batsman try to hit every ball out of the ground,” he said.

Talking about his future plans, Asif was planning to venture into cricket coaching after his playing days were over.

“I plan on taking coaching courses arranged by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as I seriously want to pursue this field,” he said.  

Asif also heaped praise on his ex-teammate and Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas. He added the latter should also be part of Pakistan’s 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup squad.

“Abbas was always a keen learner of the game, which has helped him in performing in Test cricket,” he said. “He should be part of the World cup squad, as his bowling will benefit Pakistan in England.”

Asif was also optimistic about Men in Green’s chances in the mega event.

“Pakistan has a good chance to perform well in the World Cup, considering they won the Champions trophy in England two years ago,” he said. “However, they should be wary of teams like India and Australia, who are also shaping up well ahead of the mega event."