Asif free at last, returns home from Dubai

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Lahore, Jun 20 (UNI) Mohammed Asif's ordeal finally came to an end with the fast bowler returning home today after Dubai prosecutors dropped charges against him of possession of an illegal drug.

Asif, who spent 19 days in detention at Dubai, returned to Karachi and caught a connecting flight to reach here.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement that the attorney general of Dubai had issued instructions to release Asif and send him back to Pakistan.

''The PCB welcomes this decision and is relieved this ordeal is over. We appreciate the professional manner in which this whole issue was dealt with by the Dubai Police prosecution department and the UAE authorities,'' the statement said.

The 25-year-old Asif, who has played 11 Tests, was detained on June 1 while returning from Mumbai after playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Authorities found him to be in possession of a small quantity of contraband which was later found to be a recreational drug.

Asif's release comes two days after the Senate Standing Committee on sports asked the President and Prime Minister to intervene in the matter.

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