Disgraced Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Asif has accused the International Cricket Council (ICC) of a "biased attitude" in the spot-fixing case that led to his imprisonment, ahead of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
A London court jailed the 29-year-old in November 2011 after being found guilty of conspiring to cheat and conspiring to accept corrupt payments over no-balls bowled deliberately during the 2010 Lord's Test against England.
"The charges against me are wrong, I would never do anything that would undermine my country. Having being jailed doesn't mean one is guilty; many are jailed despite their innocence," The Express Tribune quoted Asif, as saying.
Asif said he was a victim of bias of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the ICC, which he claimed 'influenced' the hearings in his court case in London.
Asif said the Court of Arbitration for Sports would hear his case in the beginning of February 2013 and one of the main tenets of his defence would be the fact the ICC imposed the suspension before his case went to a criminal court.
"My appeal will be heard in February and I am confident I will get a fair hearing and the justice which I didn't get from the ICC," Asif said.
Accusing the ICC for acting differently in his case because of his nationality, Asif said the council did not act against English county player Mervyn Westfield until the court convicted him.
"The ICC was not fair to me. They didn't ban Mervyn Westfield until the court reached its verdict. In my case, the ICC banned me even before the court proceedings had begun and I see this as bias. It was a case of a no-ball and that can happen in a cricket match. I can never think of staining my country's name and I did nothing wrong," he said.
Asif said he hoped to return to the game after getting his ban lifted.
"I am fit and have played a club-level game in England and once the ban is lifted I am sure I can return to cricket and help my country. I am also planning on writing a book in which I will reveal a lot of things," he said. (ANI)