Pakistan board tells Asif to put county contract on hold

Lahore (IANS) : Fast bowler Mohammad Asif, missing out on the tour of India due to an elbow injury, has been advised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to keep on hold his contract with English county Surrey until his fitness position becomes clear.

Asif remains uncertain for the Indian tour although PCB said he has pulled out of only the five-match one-day series and is undergoing rehabilitation, The News reported Tuesday.

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Asif, who also missed four of the five one-day internationals against South Africa last month at home due to the same injury, has been offered a two-year contract by Surrey for 2008 and 2009, the newspaper added.

PCB’s chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said that given the increasing fitness problems of fast bowlers, the board would review in detail the policy of allowing players to sign contracts with English counties for the summer.

“It is true that Pakistan has no commitments between late May and mid-September next year but we will still have a rethink on our policy of giving permission to players to go and play for counties,” he said.

Naghmi also said the policy would be based on the fact that bowlers risk burnout because of excessive cricket.

“Otherwise we have no objections,” he added.