Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif is set to remain in detention in Dubai for several more days while authorities conduct tests on a substance found in his possession, officials here said Wednesday.
The 25-year-old fast bowler was held at Dubai airport on Sunday after the allegedly illegal substance was found in his wallet. Asif was returning home from a domestic tournament in India.
"We are still fighting hard for his release and reports that he has been cleared are not correct," Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi told AFP after local newspapers said Asif had been freed.
"The authorities in Dubai are waiting for the results from a urine test carried out on Asif, and on the results of a test on the substance which was found in his possession," Naghmi said.
Naghmi said the legal process in the United Arab Emirates could take up to four days.
"We are following the process through our lawyer and as far as we know no charges have yet been framed against Asif," he said.
"We believe the process is that the airport prosecutor lays the charges down and passes on to the public prosecutor who will then decide whether or not this should go to trial.
"That process, we have been told, can take three to four days."
The PCB believed that Asif was innocent, Naghmi said.
"Our opinion is based on what our player has told us and Asif said he is innocent. At least there is no counter-argument to doubt him. The law says that you are innocent until proven guilty and we take that as our stance," he said.
Asif's arrest is the latest controversy to hit Pakistan's troubled cricket team over the last two years.
Asif was banned for one year after he tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in October 2006. Fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar was banned for two years on the same charge.
The bans were however lifted on appeal two months later.
Naghmi said no decision has yet been made on whether to replace Asif in the squad for a tri-series in Bangladesh starting from Sunday.
"The selectors will consider this once Asif's case is solved. If it is delayed as it appears then we would announce a replacement," he said.
Promising paceman Sohail Khan would be Asif's likely replacement in the tri-series, which also features India.