PCB to send Asif to South Africa via London

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pcb-logo.jpg' class='caption'> The PCB has decided to send disgraced paceman Mohammad Asif to South Africa for the upcoming Champions Trophy via London.

Updated: September 15, 2009 10:58 IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to send disgraced paceman Mohammad Asif to South Africa for the upcoming Champions Trophy via London, while rest of the squad will travel via Dubai.

The PCB has taken the decision to avoid any untoward situation that may arise if the cricketer, who spent 19 days in detention at Dubai airport after contraband substances were found in his possession, arrives in the city.

Wasim Bari, Chief Operation Officer of the board on Tuesday confirmed that Asif was being sent via London on September 21, while others would leave for Johannesburg on September 17 via Dubai.

"Right now we are focusing on the Champions Trophy so we are sending him via London to avoid any untoward situation," Bari said.

However, Bari said that the PCB had sought clarification from the Dubai authorities over the status of Asif's entry into Dubai.

"We have a series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai against New Zealand coming up, so we need to be sure beforehand he can travel to Dubai again," Bari said.

Although he was released without any criminal charges but the official documents of Dubai public prosecutor's office says he was deported from the city.

The PCB had also instituted an inquiry committee that was headed by Bari to probe into Asif's detention in Dubai and it closed the case by fining him Rs one million for breaching code of conduct and bringing the game into disrepute.

Asif was unable to provide any documentary evidence from the Dubai authorities confirming he could enter Dubai again.

The 26-year old pacer has been named in the Champions Trophy squad but can only join the team after he completes a 12-month ban for a failing a dope test in the inaugural Indian Premier League, on September 22.

Bari said Asif was a key player and obviously after the Champions Trophy the board would try to sort out the matter with the Dubai authorities.

"We have sought clarification and hopefully he would be able to play anywhere once he completes his 12-month ban for testing positive in the IPL," he added.

Asif, when contacted, said, "Right now I am just concentrating on the Champions Trophy and preparing for that. I don't even know when I would fly for Johannesburg."

"But I will leave it upto the board to handle the case and will do whatever they want me to do. For me, the Dubai detention chapter is closed once I returned home," he added.

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