KOCHI: In two or three months, K M Asif and his family will move into a new home. The Kerala pacer is busy trying to make the life of his family better while his stock as a speedster continues to rise.
“It’s one of the biggest blessings in life to have a good home of your own. Right now, we live in a very small house. There is a scarcity of water and there are hardly any facilities. I’d be able to give my family a better home and it’s all because of cricket,” the new pace sensation from the state said.
The standout bowler for Kerala in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the 26-year-old clocked in the 140-145 kmph range consistently during the tournament.
His fiery bouncers and toe-crushers left the IPL scouts thoroughly impressed during the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. And it was no surprise then that he was retained by Chennai Super Kings.
Son of a daily wage labourer and a homemaker, Asif’s rise in cricket has been meteoric. In 2018, he burst onto the scene after featuring for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which saw him getting picked by M S Dhoni’s CSK.
Asif’s younger brother is mentally challenged and his little sister required surgery for a brain tumour, and a lot of the family’s responsibility fell on him. “I had this wish in my heart to do something for them. I’ve been able to do that I got the call from CSK,” said Asif.
The 2019-20 season could prove to be the breakout year for Asif. He featured in seven out of eight games for Kerala in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and played all of group matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Asif feels that he could stake a bigger claim for both Kerala and CSK. “I have featured regularly for Kerala this season and I’m confident that I will play some part in the Ranji Trophy. My desire is to be among the top 10 wicket-takers in Ranji Trophy this season. I’m preparing for multi-day cricket now and I need to learn to bowl consistently in good areas for a long period of time.”
“I’m also confident that I can play a bigger role for CSK. Last time, I hardly had played any games prior to the IPL and so I did not have the confidence or experience then. This time, I’ve already got some experience under my belt. I believe that I will get the opportunities and I now know how to utilise them,” he said. It could all have turned out very differently had Asif stayed back in Dubai where he got a job as a godown keeper in 2016.
“I had to support my family and the salary offered was good to support them. But something didn’t feel right and I decided to return to Kerala and resume cricket,” said Asif.
And Asif’s exploits have proven that he has taken the right decision.