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Pakistan team leave for South Africa

cricket Updated: Sep 17, 2009 19:52 IST

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The Pakistan team sans pacer Mohammad Asif left for South Africa on Thursday to participate in the Champions Trophy which begins on September 22.

Asif, 26, has not been permitted by the International Cricket Council to leave with the team as he is still serving
a 12-month ban for having tested positive in a dope test during the Indian Premier League last year in India.

Asif was banned by the drugs inquiry tribunal last September, a decision endorsed by the ICC but he has already
been under a blanket ban since July last year from the PCB for his doping and disciplinary offences.

The pacer had also spent 19-days in detention in Dubai in June, 2008 for possession of a small quantity of hashish while returning from the IPL.

"Asif's ban ends on September 22 that is when he will become an official member of the team and can train and travel
with the team," Team manager Yawar Saeed said.

"The ICC has made it clear he can't be considered a part of the team until the ban ends so he will travel on September
21 to join us," Yawar added.

Because of the fact that Asif was deported from Dubai last year the board has decided not to take any risks and send
him to South Africa via London.

Asif's impressive record in 11 Tests and 31 ODIs helped his cause and the pacer was picked in the Champions Trophy
squad despite the ban after the board sought special permission from the ICC.