Fixing scam costs Asif hero's role in movie | india | Hindustan Times
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Fixing scam costs Asif hero's role in movie

He was supposed to play a cricket coach with high ethical standards. But before starting on his wards, he got himself caught up in a match-fixing scandal.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:58 IST
Ramesh Babu

He was supposed to play a cricket coach with high ethical standards. But before starting on his wards, he got himself caught up in a match-fixing scandal.

So, Malayalam filmmaker Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri has dropped Pakistani speedster Mohammad Asif in haste. For, the audience may not accept the hero of the cash-for-no-ball teaching ethics to budding cricketers. Not a silly point.

Veteran lyricist Namboothiri, who is making his directorial debut, was shocked by the video images from London, depicting Asif, Mohammad Amir, Kamran Akmal and Salman Batt being named as key players in the match-fixing scandal.

The shoot for the movie, Mazhavillattam Vare (To Rainbow's End), has been scheduled to begin in north Kerala in the first week of October and expected to release early next year.

But, Namboothiri, whose dream is to direct a movie on cricket, casting a lead character from across the border, said, “I have no other choice but to replace him.”

He first contacted former Pakistani speedster Wasim Akram. But he gently turned it down, citing a busy schedule and ill health.

Then, Namboothiri's son, Deepanguran – who is studying in London – met Asif in Landon and roped him in. "We clinched the deal and he told us he would arrive in Kerala in September," Namboothiri said.

Was he aware of Asif's earlier brush with the law? The pacer tested positive for carrying a banned substance in 2006 and pulled out of the Champion's Trophy. "I heard the drug row was settled. I checked up with police here and they said they had no problem in his visit," he said.