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Shoaib and Asif to play in 20-20 tournament

The controversial duo had their long-term bans set aside on Tuesday by a PCB appeals tribunal.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 18:55 IST

Pakistan fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif will return to action in a Twenty20 Cup domestic tournament later this month after being cleared of doping charges, an official said on Saturday.

The duo had their long-term bans set aside on Tuesday by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appeals tribunal.

"Both have been cleared by the board to resume playing domestic cricket. They have shown willingness to play in the Twenty20 tournament which starts from December 21," Saqib Irfan, a board official said.

The bowlers were recalled from the Champions Trophy in India in October after testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone in an out of competition test.

Shoaib and Asif were subsequently banned for two years and one year respectively by another drugs inquiry commission in early November before successfully appealing against the decision.

The panel said both players had not intentionally taken the banned substance and were not properly advised about their supplements intake.

PCB selectors said both will only be considered for the tour of South Africa early next year after they have proved their match fitness and form in domestic cricket.

Irfan said all the leading players in contention for the South Africa tour, including captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, have confirmed they would represent their teams in the regional Twenty20 competition in Karachi.

First Published: Dec 09, 2006 18:55 IST