Karachi, Sept 3(ANI): Banned Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did not do enough to save him and the two other banned players - Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamir - from the punishment handed down to them for spot-fixing by the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
In February, Salman was banned for ten years with a five-year suspended ban, Asif for seven years with two-year suspended ban and Aamer for five years by the ICC's Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
"I am not blaming the PCB for what happened, but certainly they and even the government could have done more to save us from such a long ban," Asif said on Geo TV.
"If the board wanted, they could have stepped in when the spot-fixing scandal broke out and handled things themselves. They should have sent us home immediately and then tried us themselves instead of allowing the ICC to take charge," he added.
He also felt that the Pakistan Government did not play a pro-active role in dealing with the whole issue, the Daily Times reports.
"I know there are regulations and other things that could have been used by the government to fly us back to Pakistan and then have us face the music at home instead of being left at the mercy of the ICC tribunal," Asif said.
He admitted that he had made some mistakes, but felt that the five-year ban was too heavy a price to pay. "Because my life revolves around cricket and not being able to play the game is very punishing indeed," he said.
"I can't say more on this because I have appealed against the ban and also in October I am hopeful that the case will be dismissed and I can get back to playing cricket," he added.
Asif said he had still not given up hope of playing for Pakistan again.
"I don't know but the situation can change very quickly and I think October will be important to my case. But I am carrying on training and even practicing because I know the comeback chance to international cricket could come," he said. (ANI)
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