Asif innocent till he is not chargesheeted: PCB

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Lahore, Jun 3 (UNI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today made it clear that pacer Mohammad Asif will not to be considered guilty until the Dubai authorities do not chargesheet him for possessing the banned drug.

Talking to mediapersons here, the PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said, ''Asif has not been chargesheeted as yet for possessing any drugs or banned substances. The substance found with him has been sent for laboratory tests after which the situation will become clearer.'' Naghmi said the board is hopeful that the whole matter would be proved a 'mistake' and the pacer would return home innocent.

''We are hopeful he will return home and if that happens, that itself would be an indication that he is innocent. So there would be no question of taking any disciplinary action against him,'' he added.

But Naghmi, however, said if Asif is found guilty then the board will not have any role to play in the matter as the issue will be under the jurisdiction of the UAE authorities.

''But if he is chargesheeted then I am afraid he then has to face a case under the laws of the United Arab Emirates,'' he informed.

Naghmi also confirmed that he did speak to Asif after the pacer was returning home while he was returning to Pakistan from India after playing in the Indian Premier League but was detained in Dubai on Sunday.

The PCB official added that the board had sent one of its top official to Dubai and also hired a leading legal firm, Angel and Afridi, to manage the case.

However, Naghmi denied having any knowledge about the substance that Asif was carrying for which he was detained.

The United Arab Emirates, which has a zero tolerance policy for drug use and if proved guilty, even the small amount of the alleged hashish in Asif's wallet could land him to a minimum of four years of imprisonment.

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