Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif
is set to begin his rehabilitation in England this summer and possibly play league cricket to work his way back into form and fitness before the Champions Trophy this September. Asif is currently serving a one-year ban after testing positive to the banned substance nandrolone last year.
Salman Ahmed, one of Asif's agents, said they have applied for a work permit which will allow him to train in England for at least four weeks before taking up offers with clubs in Cambridge and Greater Manchester, which have reportedly shown interest in signing him up.
"All the setbacks that have hit him in the last year or so have left Asif really exhausted," Ahmed told the News
. "We have prepared a fitness regime for him that will help him recover both mentally and physically.
"We have applied for a work permit which should be ready in about a month's time. Once it's ready, we will work out a contract for him with some club in England."
Asif will have to return home in August to make himself available for selection for the Champions Trophy in South Africa. His ban runs till September 21, 2009, and the tournament begins three days later.
Asif, who already left for London on Tuesday for a two-week stint, will fly to South Africa to watch a few IPL games. He was a member of the Delhi Daredevils team for the first season but the franchise banned him for a year following an internal dope test. He was banned by the PCB as well. He is still embroiled in another controversy after being detained at the Dubai airport last year for possessing opium, a case which the PCB is still investigating.