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Asif returns home; 19-day ordeal ends

PCB welcomed Asif's release but maintained that it would go ahead with its internal inquiry into the whole "embarrassing" episode.

cricket Updated: Jun 20, 2008 13:27 IST

Mohammad Asif on Friday returned to Pakistan after being deported by the Dubai authorities, ending a 19-day long ordeal of the embattled paceman, who was detained for carrying a contraband drug with him.

Asif made a quiet return to Karachi, but did not come out of the terminal building and boarded a connecting flight to Lahore, where he has been asked to report to the PCB headquarters.

The pacer was detained on June 1 by Dubai airport authorities after a small quantity of opium was recovered from his wallet. He was returning from Mumbai to Lahore via Dubai where he had a 15-hours transit stay.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement that Asif was released on the instructions of the Dubai Attorney General, who ordered his release and repatriation.

PCB welcomed Asif's release but maintained that it would go ahead with its internal inquiry into the whole "embarrassing" episode.

"We appreciate the professional manner in which this whole issue was dealt with by the Dubai Police, Prosecution Department and the UAE Authorities," the statement said.

"It is a relief that he has been released but it is a fact that this incident caused a lot of embarrassment and gave sleepless nights to the Board.

"PCB intends to conduct an immediate inquiry into this matter, as per its policies and procedures, once the official records are received from the UAE authorities," said a PCB official.

The statement also said that drug tests conducted on Asif during the investigations in Dubai were clear and negative for any contraband substance.

Sources say the Board had to take help from diplomatic and government quarters to secure the release of Asif, who is unlikely to play until the next few months as now the International Cricket Council wants the PCB to look into the issue as per the World Anti Doping Agency rules.