Asif steers clear of Dubai
Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif will travel via London rather than Dubai to South Africa for the Champions Trophy.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 16/09/09 11:07am
Pace bowler Mohammad Asif will travel separately from his Pakistan team-mates to South Africa for the Champions Trophy, via London rather than Dubai.
Asif was detained for 19 days last June by Dubai airport authorities after 0.24 grams of opium was found in his wallet. He was released without charge and has refuted reports that he was subsequently deported.
The Pakistan squad are due to travel to Johannesburg this week via Dubai, but Asif will not be among them.
"While the rest of the team will travel via Dubai, Asif will travel via London," said Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Wasim Bari.
"We are fully focused on the Champions Trophy and we do not want any untoward incidents to spoil our preparations."
Following the episode in Dubai, Asif was fined one million rupees (around £7,500) for bringing his sport into disrepute and violating the PCB's code of conduct.
The bowler also tested positive for the banned drug nandrolone during the Indian Premier League and is due to finish a one-year ban on September 22, the day before Pakistan face West Indies in their first Champions Trophy match.
Whether Asif will be available for scheduled one-day international and Twenty20 series against New Zealand in Dubai and Abu Dhabi remains to be seen.
"We need to be sure beforehand that he can travel to the UAE," said Bari,
"We have sought clarification from the authorities there and we are hopeful he would be able to play anywhere once he completes his ban."