Karachi: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif has gone from bright new hope to fallen star in the space of just two years and his latest troubles could spell the end of his career.
The 25-year-old paceman was on Monday identified as the player who failed a drugs test during the April-June Indian Premier League (IPL) and now faces a lengthy ban from the game.
It may prove to be the last twist in a career which was tainted by a first doping row in 2006, a fight with fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar in September last year and a 19-day detention in Dubai on charges of possessing an illegal drug last month.
Former captain Wasim Akram said Asif is another example of a career which has spiralled out of control.
"Boys like Asif come from small towns and they are unable to handle the fame and money so they get distracted and I'm disappointed at the fate such a talented bowler has met," said Wasim.
When cricket lost some of its innocence...
There has never been any doubt over Asif's talents with the ball.
When he dismissed legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar during his match and series-winning seven-wicket haul in Karachi in January 2006, he was instantly compared with Australian master quick Glenn McGrath.
Asif followed it up with 17 wickets to help Pakistan beat Sri Lanka 2-0 two months later.
Nominated as one of the International Cricket Council's emerging players of 2006, he was hailed as the "bowler of this generation" by none other than legendary Pakistani all-rounder Imran Khan.
Asif hails from a village called Machikay, near Sheikhupura, a small town in central Punjab which also produced medium fast bowler Rana Naved-ul Hasan.
He caught the selectors' eye with a burst of 7/35 for Sialkot in a first-class match in 2005 and was handed a ticket to Australia with the Pakistan national team.
His first international outing at Sydney proved a forgettable experience as his 18 overs in Pakistan's third loss in as many Tests went wicketless.
But the determined novice worked hard to ensure it was not his last, undergoing a short stint at India's MRF pace academy under the eagle eye of former Australian legend Dennis Lillee.
He showed signs of improvement by taking ten wickets in a first-class match against Ashes-winning Michael Vaughan's England in November 2005.
Injuries to his back and elbow stopped him showing his true potential, however and he missed Pakistan's first three Tests in England in the summer of 2006.
He finally arrived with a bang at the Oval, grabbing 4-56 to help Pakistan gain the upper hand before his team ended up forfeiting the game in a protest over ball-tampering allegations.
He was expected to lead Pakistan's attack on Indian pitches during the Champions Trophy before the dope test saga unfurled.
He and fellow paceman Shoaib Akhtar tested positive for nandrolone.
Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif for one year but the bans were however overturned on appeals.
Asif promised that he would learn from the first pitfall, but recent developments suggest otherwise.