Asif ordered to barracks for fitness test

KARACHI: Pakistan has ordered pace bowler Mohammad Asif to report to a coaching camp for young players to gauge his fitness for the ICC Champions Trophy as he completes a 12-month ban for a doping offence.

Asif has not played any cricket since July last year and was banned last September by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after testing positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone while playing for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

The 26-year-old completes the ban on September 22, and has been given the green light by the International Cricket Council to play in the eight-nation Champions Trophy that starts on the same day in Johannesburg.

‘Asif is attending the training camp for under-23 players in Karachi where we have asked camp commandant, Rashid Latif, to give us a report by August 20 whether he is match fit for the Champions Trophy,’ chief selector Iqbal Qasim told Reuters.

Asif has been one of Pakistan’s top performers in his short career, taking 51 wickets in 11 tests and 36 in 31 ODIs, but has also fallen foul of authorities for discipline issues.

The Pakistan Cricket Board fined the fast bowler one million rupees last month for bringing the country into disrepute after he was detained in Dubai last year for possessing a small amount of opium. — Reuters

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