Lahore: Disgraced Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif said yesterday he was ready to face fans' abuse when he returns to cricket after a five-year ban for spot fixing, vowing to change their minds with his performances.
Asif is free to play again from September 2 after the ICC announced he had completed his punishment for his part in a 2010 spot fixing scandal in England.
Asif, new ball partner Mohammad Amir and former captain Salman Butt were banned from all forms of the game for arranging deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test in 2010.
The ICC relaxed the ban on Amir earlier in the year, allowing him to play domestic matches, and said on Wednesday Butt and Asif would be eligible from next month.
Asif told AFP he was relieved — and braced for the abuse that may accompany his return to the field. "What if people shout and call me a cheat? I am ready for that because I have taken every tough thing in the last five years on the chin, so let the fans show their anger.
"I committed a mistake, for which I have asked for forgiveness from Allah almighty and have also said sorry to the nation, so I am ready to face any more anger and I am sure my deeds and my bowling will change views about me."
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