The PCB has given fast bowler Mohammad Asif another chance to prove he was not deported from the UAE last year for possession of opium. A PCB statement on Monday said Asif was absent from the latest sitting of the three-man committee inquiring into his reported deportation as he was in the United Kingdom "without informing the board or the inquiry committee". It has set June 1 as the date for its next meeting with Asif.
Asif had earlier verbally informed the committee that he was not deported after being detained for 19 days in Dubai on June 1 last year when 0.24 grams of opium was found in his wallet at the airport, as he made his way back to Pakistan after playing in the IPL. Documents from the Dubai public prosecutor leaked to the press confirmed the identity of the substance Asif was found with and also his admission that he had used a substance, although he denied that it was opium.
If Asif was indeed deported, he would be unable to ever return to the UAE, thereby casting serious doubts over his international future as Pakistan are scheduled to play most of its home matches there owing to security fears after the Lahore terror attack in March.
"We have scheduled our next meeting on June 1... to facilitate your presence in the meeting," Wasim Bari, the PCB inquiry committee head, wrote in a letter to Asif on Monday. "In case you are unable to attend because of various reasons, kindly inform us so that the committee can proceed forward and finalize its recommendations to the (cricket) board to close this inquiry."
Asif was also banned for one year by the IPL last September for testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone during the tournament. In 2006, Asif was suspended for one year by the PCB after testing positive for nandrolone, but the ban was overturned on appeal.