Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has revealed that Islamabad United picked batsman Asif Ali “on [the] basis of his talent”.
Ajmal, who is the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise’s assistant coach, made the comments following Asif’s strong performances in the T20 World Cup.
The 30-year-old didn’t bat in Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory over India, which saw the men in green claim their first-ever World Cup win over their arch-rivals.
However, in the match against New Zealand, which Pakistan won by five wickets, he smashed 27 off 12 balls, which included a boundary and three sixes.
Asif then smoked an unbeaten 25 off seven balls, which included four sixes, against Afghanistan.
All the sixes he hit came in the 19th over off the bowling of Karim Janat, where he finished off the game and led his side to an impressive five-wicket win.
Asif didn’t bat in his side’s 45-run win over Namibia, but in the team’s 72-run win against Scotland, he made five runs.
As for the semi-final against Australia, which Pakistan lost by five wickets, he was dismissed for a golden duck.
“We (Islamabad United) picked him on [the] basis of his talent,” Ajmal was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan T20 World Cup Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik
Pakistan T20 World Cup Reserves: Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir