Asif’s absence angers Pakistan cricket board’s probe committee

May 11th, 2009 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, May 11 (IANS) Dope-tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif may be trying to shed his bad boy image by interacting with the Pakistani community in England but a probe committee back home is fuming over the player’s absence from the investigation proceedings on his Dubai misadventure last summer.
A committee formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to probe into Asif’s Dubai detention on charges of possessing illegal drugs Monday ordered the pacer to appear before it June 1.

Asif, 27, was stopped at Dubai airport last June after being found in possession of 0.24 grams of opium while he was travelling back to Pakistan after playing in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Sheikhupura-born player was detained in Dubai for 19 days before being deported after the authorities decided that the quantity of drug was insufficient to make a case.

However, PCB formed a three-member committee to probe the case before taking a stand on player’s future in the national team. The committee said it wants proof to back up Asif’s claims that he was not deported from Dubai.

The bowler had earlier verbally informed the committee that he was not deported after being detained for 19 days in Dubai.

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.

The committee has warned Asif to attend the probe June 1. A PCB statement said Asif was absent from the latest sitting of the three-man committee inquiring into his reported deportation as he was in Britain “without informing the board or the inquiry committee”.

“We have scheduled our next meeting on June 1, 2009. This has been done to facilitate your presence in the meeting. In case you are unable to attend because of various reasons, kindly inform us so that the committee can proceed and finalise its recommendations to the board to close this inquiry,” Wasim Bari, the PCB inquiry committee head, wrote in a letter to Asif Monday.

Asif is currently serving a one-year doping ban after testing positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last summer while featuring in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India.

The pacer has based himself in England, where he is training to make a comeback.

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