ICC asks PCB about Asif Case
KARACHI: The International Cricket Council has asked officials in Pakistan to explain what action they plan to take against fast bowler Mohammad Asif over his drugs arrest, an official said Thursday.
The 26-year-old fast bowler was detained in June for nearly three weeks for possession of opium as he was returning to Pakistan after playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Dubai police deported him without charge, saying the quantity of illegal drugs found was insufficient, but he was barred from the United Arab Emirates for life.
Pakistanís Senate standing committee has recommended that Asif be banned for life over the Dubai drugs case, the latest in a series of troubles for the cricketer.
"We have received an email from ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat accompanied by the Dubai detention report," the Pakistan Cricket Board's chief operating officer, Saleem Altaf, told a foreign news agency.
"This is the first time we have seen this report and our lawyer is looking into it and soon we will form a committee to take action on it," he said.
Altaf said the PCB would follow the normal course taken for a discipline violation after receiving the ICC's query, explaining that the process had been delayed due to a change in leadership at the PCB.
A PCB spokesman said a three-man committee had been set up to review the Dubai report on Asif's detention and make a recommendation "in due course".
Asif is also facing a possible two-year ban after failing a drugs screening test during the inaugural IPL season last year. He was due to appear before the IPL doping tribunal on January 24.
Altaf, himself a former paceman for Pakistan's national team, said the PCB would not rush to conclusions over what he termed a "sensitive case."
"We are talking about a player's career," he said.
Asif and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar failed drugs tests in 2006. A PCB tribunal banned Akhtar for two years and Asif for one year but that decision was overturned on appeal in a move criticised by the ICC.
Asif has played 11 Tests and 31 one-day matches for Pakistan since making his debut in Australia in early 2005.