Pakistan's Asif Ali
Pakistan's Asif Ali on the pitch early this May Image Credit: AFP

Bristol: Pakistan batsman Asif Ali has credited his family for convincing him to play at the World Cup after the tragic death of his infant daughter last month.

The 27-year-old had to leave Britain after the fifth one-day international against England when he learned of the death of his 19-month-old daughter Dua Fatima from cancer in the United States.

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Asif, who was not in the preliminary squad for the World Cup, forced his way into the final 15 with two half centuries against England during the recent series between the two countries.

Asif said his wife and family helped him deal with his daughter's illness.

"I was informed of my daughter's health during the Pakistan Super League in February," Asif said.

"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."

The son of an ironsmith in Pakistan's industrial city of Faisalabad, Asif was spotted as a hard-hitting batsman by former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

His role is to give impetus to an innings towards the end.

"If I score runs in the team's performance then it's good for all of us," he said. "I am not worried because what role I am given I will play according to the conditions."

Asif said he was happy to score runs in the recent series against England despite a 4-0 defeat for Pakistan.

"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."

Asif hopes Pakistan will carry forward the momentum of their victory against World Cup hosts England in Nottingham on Monday.

"Beating England was awesome," said Asif of Pakistan's 14-run win, which followed a seven-wicket mauling at the hands of the West Indies in their first match, also in Nottingham.

"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."