‘Players were being picked based on contacts’ – Mohammad Asif opens up about ‘nepotism’ in Pakistan’s domestic cricket

‘Players were being picked based on contacts’ – Mohammad Asif opens up about ‘nepotism’ in Pakistan’s domestic cricket

Many cricketers have also accused PCB of favouritism recently.

Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan cricket and controversies have developed an exotic relationship over the years. While there are many infamous episodes in Pakistan cricket, their team selection has been under the scanner lately. From Mohammad Amir to Shoaib Malik, numerous cricketers have accused the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of favouritism and also slammed their selection policy. Now, former pacer Mohammad Asif has also made some massive claims over the same topic.

For the unversed, Asif faced a seven-year ban alongside Salman butt and Mohammad Amir for his involvement in the 2010 match-fixing scandal. In a recent interaction, the former right-arm pacer shared his experience when he returned to his country’s domestic cricket with the hope of making a comeback in the national team after serving his punishment.

Asif revealed that he got a negative response from the people around him, and many even subtly asked him to give up the sport. The 38-year-old also claimed that there was favouritism in the system as batters and bowlers with mediocre performances were labelled as future heroes.

There was a lot of favouritism and nepotism at play: Mohammad Asif

“After participating in domestic cricket after my return I realised that there was a lot of favouritism and nepotism at play. Players were being picked based on who they knew rather than how good they were. Guys who were scoring 25 runs per innings were being labelled as great hopes and heroes. Bowlers with no performances were being given chance after chance, it was depressing and I knew people were trying to drop a hint to me to give up playing,” Asif said in an interview with PakPassion.

Notably, Mohammad Asif was a vital cog of Pakistan’s pace attack during his playing days. Even many prominent batting stars, including Kevin Pietersen, have looked entirely clueless against his deliveries. In total, the right-arm fast bowler scalped 106, 46 and 13 wickets in 103 Tests, 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is respectively. However, unlike Amir, he couldn’t come back to the national team after the ban. Asif also mentioned that he had shifted his focus to coaching as an alternative option.

“I wanted to continue playing, but I started to think about alternatives to playing and focussed on coaching and I was asked to go to Afghanistan for a coaching stint with their young pace bowlers in 2016. However, the security situation meant that I had to decline the offer,” he added.

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