Former South African cricket skipper Hashim Amla recently said in an interview that pacer Mohammad Asif the best fast-bowler he has ever faced. Amla recollected his experience against the bowler and hailed the Pakistani right-arm fast bowler as the ‘magician of the bowl’.

In an interview with South African outlet SuperSport, ahead of the final ODI against Pakistan, Amla said: “Mohammad Asif is the best one. I know he got banned for match-fixing but at that stage, he was the best fast-bowler I’ve ever faced. He was not that quick, bowling around 135kph maybe, but his accuracy was phenomenal.”

“He landed on the first stump and I didn’t know the ball was nipping away or nipping in. He tested your defenses. And funny enough as the years have gone by, meeting other cricketers around the world, so many guys say exactly the same thing. They said Muhammad Asif [was] the magician of the ball.”

The 36-year-old was also praised by the likes of English batsman Kevin Pietersen earlier, who had similar comments regarding the Pakistani international.

Asif developed an iconic figure with a high-leaping style of delivering the ball, he was considered one of the finest pacers of his generation. His international career hit a low after his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

The International Cricket Council had banned Asif, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Amir, who were all involved in the fixing scandal.