20 Oct 2009

Asif not allowed back into the UAE

9:53 am on 20 October 2009

The Pakistan bowler Mohammad Asif will not return to international cricket in next month's limited overs series against New Zealand in the UAE.

Asif was deported from the UAE last year, having spent 19 days in detention at Dubai Airport, after he was found to be in possession of a small amount of opium.

Though criminal charges were not pressed - reportedly after high-level contacts between the government of Pakistan and the UAE monarchy - the court order called for his immediate deportation and banned him from entering the UAE until further notice.

The PCB had been trying to clarify what the situation was now that Asif is once again available for selection - following completion of a year-long ban for another doping offence last year - but has been told by authorities that he is not allowed back in.

Because of security concerns at home Pakistan has been forced to play a number of home series at neutral venues like the UAE, which means they may have to do without one of their leading fast bowlers for a while.

He is likely to be a part of the Pakistan tour of New Zealand in December.