Asif vows to shed bad boy image

May 6th, 2009 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 6 (IANS) Pakistan’s dope-tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif is currently in England on a mission to shed his bad-boy image and pave the way for an international comeback with this year’s Champions Trophy.

Asif, 26, is currently serving a one-year doping ban after testing positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last summer while featuring in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India.

However, the pacer has decided against whiling away his time and has based himself in England, where he is training for an international comeback and is also trying to improve his image.

The Sheikhupura-born player, who is regarded as a bad boy of Pakistan cricket, had an interaction with the Pakistani community and the media in London Tuesday.

At the get-together, Asif vowed to mend his ways and told the audience that he is working hard to ensure a successful comeback this September.

“I will perform to excel and will try my best to be a great role model,” Asif told the well-attended gathering in London’s Southhall neighbourhood that has a huge Pakistani population.

Asif took 51 wickets from just 11 Tests and was once regarded as the most promising fast bowler on the international circuit with some experts comparing him with Australian legend Glenn McGrath.

However, repeated brushes with the authorities over doping has tainted his reputation and put a big question mark over his international career.

Asif is now making efforts to reverse his fortunes and is currently undergoing a strenuous fitness regime with experienced trainers in England.

His sights are set on the Champions Trophy in South Africa this autumn. By then, he would have served his one-year ban that ends this September.

The pacer is also looking for a contract with a local English league club as he wants to get some match practice before looking for a comeback to the Pakistan team.

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