No mercy for Asif, former players tell PCB

Tired of frequent doping scandals sullying the country's image, former Pakistan greats have urged the board not to spare Mohammad Asif.

updated: July 19, 2008 09:45 IST
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Sick and tired of one after another doping stigma sullying the country's image, former Pakistan greats have urged the cricket board not to show any mercy to tainted pacer Mohammad Asif.

"It is time the board stopped supporting players who are constantly bringing a bad name to the country. Only time will tell if he is innocent or not but there is no doubt that Asif has been responsible for spoiling the image of Pakistan cricket not once but a number of times," former captain, Javed Miandad said.

The former great also blamed the cricket board for the constant tarnishing of Pakistan cricket internationally.

"The players are responsible for their behaviour but at the same time the board has encouraged them to indulge in indiscipline by constantly ignoring their past acts and refusing to get tough with them," he added.

Miandad, who appeared in 124 Tests, said that it had become a joke the way Pakistani players were getting involved in dope scandals.

"In 2006 the board was soft on Shoaib Akhtar and Asif. Last month their reaction to Asif's detention in Dubai was shocking. So now if they are faced with another dope scandal they are equally to blame and should be sacked."

Miandad said even a top team like Australia had not spared their best player, Shane Warne, when he tested positive before the 2003 World Cup.

When contacted, Asif said he had been advised against speaking to the media about the case which was now being handled by his lawyer.

But when asked about reports that he was contemplating hiring the services of Mark Gay, the barrister from London who specialises in representing athletes caught up in doping scandals, Asif said he could not confirm anything.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations, if Asif's second test is also positive then he could face a ban of two years as according to Dr Danish Zaheer, the WADA representative in Pakistan, his first offence in 2006 came in out of competition tests conducted by the Pakistan Board privately.

"The maximum punishment he could face now if he can't prove his innocence is two years," Zaheer said.

The PCB has made it clear that unlike the past when they went out of their way to support the pacer in dope related issues, they would not be supporting him this time and he had already been advised to contest the issue himself.