Asif, 29, was freed from jail in Britain after serving half of a 12-month sentence over a spot-fixing scandal and was taken by his friend Mohammad Haroon to his house in suburban London.
“Asif was very happy at his release and his first words were ‘thanks Almighty,’” Haroon, a cricket coach and Asif’s mentor, told AFP by phone from London. He said Asif would hold a press conference soon, after consulting his lawyer.
In the Pakistani village of Machikay, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the eastern city of Lahore, Asif’s family voiced relief at his release. “I have spent these six months in pain but I am sure that it’s over now,” his father Hasan Deen, a farmer, told AFP. “I have not talked to him for seven months but I am happy that his difficult days are over.”