Pak pacer Asif plans to switch sports if banned

Published: Friday, June 13, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Lahore: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif, detained at the Dubai Airport detention centre since June 1 for allegedly possessing hashish, has reportedly said that he spends most of his time chatting with his new Pakistani and Indian friends and offering prayers to be freed soon.

In an interview with the Pakistani daily Dawn through a 'pay phone system", Asif reportedly sounded relaxed and in high spirits. He said he couldn"t watch India-Pakistan match in Bangladesh because there was no TV set inside the detention centre.

Answering a question in a lighter vein about his future with Pakistan cricket, Asif jokingly said that he would take up football in case he is banned by the PCB.

"I have made a few friends here. We chat most of the time. There is a prayer room and we offer prayers at various times during the day. My conscience is clear and Insha Allah, I hope to be free soon," the paper quoted him as saying.

He said he was facing language problems in interacting with the Dubai authorities.

"Due to language problems, it has become very cumbersome to deal with the authorities. They speak Arabic and don"t understand a word of Urdu or even English," he said.

He, however, clearly shied away from answering questions about the hakeem whose 'medicine' landed him in a soup.

Quoting Pakistan embassy officials there, the paper said the Dubai Attorney General, who is currently hearing the case, is likely to take up Asif"s case on Sunday, and may perhaps even deliver a verdict on the same day.

Dismissing media reports that Asif might be deported on Friday, a senior embassy official said, "I think if any decision was taken to deport him, we would know about it."

He said the embassy had designated a consular to follow the case and assist Asif.

"There has been no development on the Asif front as yet and we are expecting the Attorney-General to handle the case on Sunday after going through the prosecutor"s report," the official said and added: "Maybe he might even take a decision the same day on whether to charge Asif or release or deport him."


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