Monday, 7 May 2012

'Salman is lonely and depressed in prison' - Mohammad Asif

Shamed Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif – who was released from Canterbury prison last week after serving 6 months for his role in the Lord’s spot-fixing scam – has described his former captain Salman Butt and fellow inmate as a ‘lonely and depressed man’, ‘counting the days to the end of his term.’

Asif, Butt and Mohammad Amir were jailed for their part in the infamous deliberate no-balls incident during a Test Match against England at Lords last summer.

Amir was released from a young offenders institute after serving 3 months out of a 6-month sentence while Asif’s release came halfway through his 12-month jail term.

Butt was jailed for a total of 30 months and will not be eligible for release until later this year.
Speaking to The Dawn newspaper, Asif revealed that he had shared a room with Salman in prison for about three months.  “He is a lonely man and looked very depressed on the day of my release from jail” Asid said.

“He has been quite miserable at times and is anxiously awaiting his release.”

HMP Canterbury allows two foreign nationals in the same room.

“There were very few Muslims in the prison and we both were first asked whether we could share the same room,” the paper quoted the former World No 2 pace man.

“We immediately agreed. Having a non-muslim room partner could have made life difficult for both me and Salman.”

When asked if there were any ill feelings between the two, particularly after the nerve-racking trial in London last September where both players hurled serious allegations at each other, Asif denied any such thing and added that the bond between the two grew stronger in prison.

“No, there were no ill-feelings between us. In fact, we were like two brothers in the prison,” said Asif.

 “Both of us were made gym in-charge where we played badminton and football.”

Asif said he used to speak to his family over telephone from the prison but none of his family members afforded to visit the jail.

However, the family members of his former captain did visit him in prison.

“Every month in the jail, Salman’s wife (Gul), his elder son and mother paid a visit there,” informed Asif.  “But his younger son has been denied visa again and therefore he could not see him.”

-    UKAsian Staff

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