Asif runs into controversy in India, meets Daredevils officials (Roundup)January 19th, 2009 - 12:44 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Pakistani cricketer Mohammed Asif, here to meet the management of his Indian Premier League (IPL) team Delhi Daredevils, faced a controversy yet again: while airport officials said he was detained for a while, the player insisted he was not.“Asif was detained Saturday night for not having all necessary travel documents. He spent many hours at the Indira Gandhi Airport before the Pakistan High Commission intervened,” an airport official said on condition of anonymity.
“Asif had valid visa for playing cricket in India. But since he was on a personal visit here, immigration officials detained him after he landed in the capital via Mumbai Saturday evening,” added the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
According to immigration officials, Asif can travel to India for next five years as an international cricketer to play matches in the IPL.
However, Asif, 26, dismissed reports of his detention.
“I was very pained about the reports in the newspapers and television this morning about my arrival to New Delhi,” Asif said.
“I wish to clarify that there was absolutely no problem at the Delhi airport on my arrival. I came to New Delhi via Mumbai and I was welcomed whole-heartedly there and all immigration formalities were concluded there,” he said.
“The media reports about any incidents are inaccurate and I am very happy to be in New Delhi and India once again.”
Asif, who played for Daredevils in the inaugural IPL last year, had tested positive during the Twenty20 tournament and his hearing will be held Jan 24 in Mumbai. He faces a two-year suspension, at least from the IPL.
“Asif apprised the Delhi Daredevils management of the current situation and the matter relating to his hearing with the IPL. Based on the constructive discussions, both have decided to meet again tomorrow (Monday) to take the matter forward,” Amrit Mathur, chief operating officer of Delhi Daredevils, said in a statement.
The pacer is on the verge of bankruptcy and is also in talks with Delhi Daredevils to recover some $200,000 which the team owes him.
Asif has also been engaged in a legal battle in Pakistan to avoid a possible two-year ban over dope charges.