PCB reopens Asif’s Dubai detention case

January 13th, 2009 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 13 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reopened the case involving dope-tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif’s detention in Dubai last summer.According to sources, PCB will carry out a renewed inquiry after media reports revealed last week that Asif confessed to using Opium during interrogations carried out by authorities in Dubai last June.

Asif, who has taken 51 wickets from 11 Tests, was caught in possession of small amount of a banned substance at the Dubai airport while on his way home after featuring in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India. He was detained in Dubai for 19 days before being deported to Pakistan.

A PCB inquiry committee had at that time suggested Rs.7 million fine and suspension of a few matches over Asif’s Dubai misadventure. But the committee’s report disappeared in mysterious circumstances after a regime change in the PCB set-up last autumn.

Shafqat Naghmi, the then PCB chief operating officer, who headed the inquiry committee, was sacked by new board chairman Ijaz Butt.

Sources said that the PCB was not interested in reopening the case but is now forced to do that in the wake of several media reports highlighting the findings of the Dubai authorities. Another reason why the PCB wants to resume investigations is to settle the issue of expenses incurred on Asif’s legal assistance that was provided by the board.

The PCB spent Rs.6.3 million on legal assistance for Asif in Dubai. According to sources, the board has sent a notice to Asif to pay the amount. But the pacer has refused to pay back, saying that he never asked the PCB to hire such expensive lawyers.

“I never fought the case then why should I pay,” he was quoted as saying in an interview Tuesday.

However, PCB’s chief operating officer Saleem Altaf says that the Board has sent no such notice to Asif. “Its speculations,” he said.

But he admitted that the board will take steps to sort out the matter soon. Meanwhile, Asif is also struggling to settle another serious matter pertaining to a positive dope test in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Asif said that he is still awaiting government permission to proceed to India for a hearing of the IPL drugs tribunal in Mumbai, Jan 24. The Sheikhupura-born player has been summoned for the hearing in connection with his positive dope test while playing for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL last May.

Asif said that he wants to get himself cleared for international cricket as soon as possible. “I want this nightmare to get over as soon as possible,” he told the Jang newspaper.

“I need a lot of money to fight my legal battle over the dope test but am totally broke because of the ban and all,” he said referring to PCB’s decision to suspend him from all cricket in the wake of the positive dope test.

“The board owes me a lot of money but it has refused to release it,” he lamented.

It is estimated that the board has to pay around Rs.5 million to Asif which includes his central contracts payments, share of sponsorship and match fees.

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