© Getty Images
Mohammad Asif  played first domestic game last September after his ban got lifted © Getty Images
Karachi:  Paceman Mohammad Asif, who is striving to earn a recall to the national team after returning to competitive cricket, will lead Sialkot in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. After completing his five-year ban for spot fixing last September, Asif returned to action in domestic cricket. “It is a big positive step for me and in my bid to play maximum competitive cricket,” Asif said. Asif played in seven one-day matches for Wapda in the national ODI tournament in January but said he was looking forward to the grade-11 competition as it was three-day cricket against top teams. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 8 at Dhaka.

Pakistan‘s former captain Salman Butt who was also banned for five years for spot fixing is also likely to appear in the competition for Candyland team. The duo, along with Muhammad Amir, were banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for bowling deliberate no-balls in return for money during the Lord’s Test against England on Pakistan’s tour in 2010.

The President of the Sialkot Region, said Asif was asked to lead the team since he was a very senior player. “Since he can now play cricket at any level and has served his punishment there is no reason to ignore him as he belongs to our region,” he added. Pakistan players Abdul Rehman and Bilawal Bhatti will also represent Sialkot.

He said none of the Sialkot players had any issues playing with Asif and he will be given full support as captain.