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Shamed Asif confesses to spot-fixing
Mohammad Asif, the former Pakistan fast bowler, has publicly confessed to his part in spot-fixing during the Lord's Test in 2010 and hopes to make amends in order to revive his international career. He delivered an unconditional apology at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, nearly three years after he was handed a seven-year ban from participating in any form of cricket.
"I accept the punishment from the ICC tribunal in 2011," Asif said at a press conference. "I apologise for my actions that have brought disrespect to my beloved country, to the millions of fans in Pakistan and in the world. When I look back at the events of my career, I feel very sorry.
"I request all the players who want to represent their country that they must keep away from all sorts of corruption. I am ready to help any player who wants to avoid such pitfalls. I will duly cooperate with the ICC, its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and with the PCB, in fighting corruption in the game."
In April, Asif and his former captain Salman Butt, who was handed a 10-year ban - five of which were suspended - from all cricket by the ICC, lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the suspensions to be reduced. Dave Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, called on them to admit their wrongdoing and cooperate with the ICC's ACSU following which Butt had apologised in June.
Asif, who was found guilty of bowling a deliberate no-ball, will be 33 by the time the minimum of five years from his ban are complete and will work through the final two years under suspension, on condition that he commits no further breach of the Code of Conduct throughout that period and participates in an anti-corruption education program under the Pakistan Cricket Board. The apology is not expected to have any immediate implications but Asif will have to undergo rehabilitation and present the whole truth to the ACSU and PCB.
"I also 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. Now on the Independence Day of my country, 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.
"I also request the ICC to allow me to play first-class cricket so that when my ban ends I am fit enough to represent my country."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here