CricX are excited to announce Rambottom CC have signed Ex-Pakistan international star Bilal Asif.

Asif is, perhaps, a player that deserved more than his 8 international caps. The off-spinner boasts Test and ODI bowling averages of 26.50, and 19.20, respectively.

In 2015, Asif picked up figures of 5-25 against Zimbabwe in his second of three ODI’s. In 2018, he dismantled Australia on his Test debut, taking 6-36. A few months later, he produced another 5-wicket bag, this time against New Zealand (5-65), which proved to be his final Test.

Despite his exploits, Asif hasn’t been considered since, and at 36, it’s unlikely he’ll earn a national re-call. Nevertheless, he continues to dominate the domestic scene.

In December 2019, he guided his Central Punjab side to Quaid-e-Azam Trophy glory, courtesy of a Man-of-the-Match performance in the final. Asif took 11 wickets in the match, to include career-best figures of 8-112 to bowl his side to victory.

He ended the QeA campaign second on the wicket charts with 43 wickets at 23.16 – the first time an off-spinner has featured amongst the top ten wicket-takers since the 2012/13 season.

Interestingly, it was actually Asif’s batting, rather than bowling, that drew national interest many years ago.

In May 2015, having played just 11 first-class matches since his debut in 2011, he earned a domestic T20 debut for Sialkot Stallions. He exploded during the televised Super9 T20 Cup match striking a 48-ball 114 including 10 sixes. His century was scored in 43 balls – this remains a record for the fastest domestic T20 century in Pakistan cricket.

Asif has since gone on to strike two further domestic centuries – both in the QeA Trophy, to evidence his all-round ability.

We wish Bilal and everyone at Ramsbottom Cricket Club the best of luck for the rest of the season.