Pakistan batsman Asif Ali credited his family for convincing him to travel to England and play the World Cup after the tragic death of his infant daughter.
Asif had to leave the UK after the fifth ODI against England following the death of his 19-month-old daughter Dua Fatima from cancer – who was in the US – last month.
Asif was not in the initial World Cup team but forced his way into the final squad with two fifties against England in the five-match series.
But the bereavement was an extremely tough time for the 27-year-old and Asif said his wife and family helped him keep his senses during that period.
“I was informed of my daughter’s health during the Pakistan Super League in February,” Asif was quoted as saying by AFP.
“It was shocking and heart-breaking but my family stood by me in those difficult times and they eased it by convincing me that I should play for the country and they will take care of her.
“They told me ‘don’t waste a chance of playing for the country’ because only lucky ones get that chance. Whatever Allah did, it was for her betterment.”
Asif said he was happy to be among the runs during the series against England which Pakistan lost 4-0.
“I need to score quick runs in the final overs and you may have seen my game during the series where I got more overs to bat,” he said. “I got 20-25 overs and that’s why I scored two fifties. If you bat up the order then it’s relatively easy to hit out as you get settled.”
Pakistan made a poor start to the World Cup after being bundled out for 105 against the West Indies. But they bounced back in style against favourites England in Nottingham. Asif said it was a great sign for the men in green.
“Beating England was awesome,” said the lower order batsman. “England have a strong batting line-up, so the win was very good. We now have the momentum and we will take it with us in the next games.”
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