Karachi:Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif has said that the training session at the national camp here has done wonders to his mental and physical fitness and he is now fully prepared to take on new challenges at the upcoming Champions Trophy in South Africa.
"I will continue to train at the camp here till August 29 and then at the conditioning camp for the national team before leaving for South Africa. I am confident that I will touch my peak fitness by the time the tournament starts. I am satisfied with my bowling and generating pace with sideways movement of the ball," Asif said.
"The training by Rashid is hard and there is no let-up. This schedule is very beneficial for someone like me who is getting back into the game after a year.
"It is a new beginning for me and my career. I am ready to take on the new opportunities offered to me," said Asif, who has played 11 Tests and 31 one-day internationals so far.
"I enjoyed bowling in South Africa on the Test tour in 2007 and again in the T20 World Cup," he added.
The 26-year-old Asif was watched closely by chief selector Iqbal Qasim and fellow selector Saleem Jaffer today at the national stadium.
"He is bowling well but we are more concerned about his fitness. The feedback we get from Rashid Latif is important for us," Qasim said.
Qasim will sit down with the national team coach Intikhab Alam in Lahore tomorrow to finalise the 15-member squad for the Champions Trophy, which is to be announced on Friday.
All the indications are there that the selectors will take a gamble with Asif who has not played any competitive cricket since July 2008 due to disciplinary and doping issues.
Qasim also added that the selectors are happy with the recovery of Umar Gul from his back problem.