Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif has been detained at Dubai airport for possession of illegal drugs, a Pakistan Cricket Board official said on Tuesday. <b1>
“Yes, he has been detained by authorities at Dubai airport for the last 36 hours,” PCB official Nadeem Akram said from Dubai. “We are coordinating with the Pakistan embassy and handling this issue.
“The substance recovered from him has been sent for tests. He is detained, not arrested,” Akram added. The PCB is due to hold a news conference later on Tuesday.
Akram later told Geo television that Asif had been carrying traditional medicine in his wallet.
“We are not sure about the make of the substance, which was prescribed to him by a local hakeem (Ayurvedic practitioner) for his elbow injury,” Akram said. “We have sent his blood and urine samples for tests.”
Akram said the PCB had hired a lawyer in Dubai and would be meeting with the public prosecutor later in the day. Sources on the board said Asif, who was detained while returning from India after playing in a domestic Twenty20 league, is likely to be bailed.
They added they had only learnt of Asif’s detention late on Sunday and immediately sent a team to resolve the matter. “Obviously it was a big embarrassment for Pakistan cricket but we first have to see what is the real case,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Asif was on Monday named in the Pakistan squad to play in the triangular series in Bangladesh from June 8 against India and the hosts.