Pakistan likely to recall Asif for Champions Trophy

04 July 2009

Karachi : Pakistan is seriously considering recalling Mohammad Asif in the 30-member preliminary squad for this September's ICC Champions Trophy after the International Cricket Council (ICC) said it would not raise any objection against the pacer's inclusion once he completes his doping ban.

An ICC spokesman has said that once Asif completes his one-year ban on Sep 22 this year, he will be eligible to take part in any international event including the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in South Africa. The biennial tournament is scheduled to get underway Sep 24.

A senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said that the board is seriously considering the idea of clearing Asif for the 30-man provisional squad for the Champions Trophy. Pakistan is planning to announce the preliminary squad on July 23.

Saleem Altaf, PCB's chief operating officer, said the board will soon take a decision about Asif's inclusion in the national team.

The 26-year-old Asif was banned last year after he tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone while featuring in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Earlier this week, the decks were cleared for Asif to return to national duty when the PCB fined him Rs.1 million for a 19-day detention in Dubai over possession of a small quantity of opium.

The PCB also announced that the fast bowler will be eligible for national duty after his one-year ban for doping expires.