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Banned Pakistan fast bowler sorry for spot-fixing

August 14, 2013

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Suspended Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif apologized publicly on Wednesday for his involvement in a 2010 spot-fixing scandal and pledged to cooperate with the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit.

In 2011, Asif was banned for seven years — two of them suspended — for bowling predetermined no-balls during the Lord’s test against England. Teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir were also banned for a minimum period of five years for similar offences.

“I accept the punishment from the ICC tribunal in 2011,” Asif told reporters in the southern port city of Karachi.

“I apologize for my actions that have brought disrespect to my beloved country, to the millions of fans in Pakistan and in the world,” he added. “When I look back at the events of my career, I feel very sorry.”

While Amir accepted his guilt immediately and did not contest the ban, both Asif and Butt went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, where their appeals were rejected in April.

Asif said that players who want to represent their country “must keep away from all sorts of corruption.”

“I am ready to help any player who wants to avoid such pitfalls,” he said, adding that he will cooperate with the ICC, its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit and the Pakistan Cricket Board “in fighting corruption in the game.”

The ICC in April urged Asif to meet with its anti-corruption officials and discuss what happened in 2010.

Asif said he was ready to be part of the PCB’s rehabilitation program and hopes that, once his ban is over, fans will accept him back on the cricketing field.

“I want to make myself available for the rehab program to be conducted by the PCB through the support of the ICC,” he said.

“I have suffered a lot because of my wrongdoings,” he added. “I promise that once my ban finishes I will try to repair the damage I have done. My family has also suffered, so I want to start a new life with a hope that all the fans of the game accept me.”

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