“I spent the six months under difficult circumstances,” Asif told Pakistan’s Geo television in London, in his first public remarks since being freed from Canterbury jail on Thursday after serving half his 12-month prison term.
“But despite the difficulties, I kept my fitness and I am thankful to my fans and family for supporting me during this difficult phase,” he said.
The 29-year-old was jailed by a London court in November after being found guilty of conspiring to cheat and conspiring to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test in August 2010.
“I was shocked when I was handed that 12-month jail term, and when they termed me guilty I was very surprised because there was no evidence against me,” said Asif.
He expressed hope that his lawyer, Ravi Sukul, can overturn the ICC ban. “I am fitter than before because I was using the gym and although I didn’t get to play much cricket, I played badminton and football,” said Asif, confident he could still bowl as well as ever. “You don’t tell a fish how to swim, so I have not forgotten how to bowl.”