Pakistan's disgraced paceman Mohammed Asif has cleared a dope test in the ongoing Champions Trophy tournament and will return to international cricket when he plays the last group match against Australia.
Yawar Saeed, the manager of the Pakistan team, said from Johannesburg that Asif was tested randomly last week by the anti-doping ICC officials and reports this morning confirmed that he had cleared the test.
"There is more good news for Asif as the tour selection committee has decided to play him against Australia. It will be his first international match for Pakistan since April last year," Yawar Saeed said.
The match, to be played later today, is crucial from India's viewpoint as Pakistan's defeat would spell their ouster from the elite event.
Saeed said the tour selectors had decided that it was the best time to give Asif a chance after he remained out of action for such a long time.
"The match will allow us to assess his match fitness and if he makes a strong comeback also give us more bowling options for the knockout stage of the tournament," he stated.
Asif completed a 12-month ban on September 22. He was handed the ban after flunking a dope test during the inaugural edition of the IPL.