Asif ready to make a comeback

By IANS, Karachi : Pakistan’s dope-tainted pacer Mohammad Asif has said he is fit and ready to make a comeback to international cricket after missing the recent World Cup in the Caribbean due to injury and doping-related problems.

“I am fully focused on making a successful comeback with the series in Abu Dhabi,” Asif was quoted as saying by The News Tuesday.

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Pakistan is scheduled to play three one-day matches against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi from May 10-15.

Asif also said that he does not fear any doping ban and added that he has set his sight on resuming his international career.

The fast bowler also said that he has completely recovered from an elbow injury sustained during the tour of South Africa earlier this year.

The lanky medium-pacer was unable to feature in the World Cup after being withdrawn from Pakistan’s 15-man squad just days before the start of the 16-nation contest.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that he and fellow pacer Shoaib Akhtar were dropped from the team because of fitness issues.

However, there were suspicions that the duo was withdrawn to avoid doping-related complications during the World Cup. Shoaib and Asif tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last September and were banned by a PCB inquiry committee.

However, tribunal later cleared the bowlers, a decision that was challenged by the World Anti-Doping Agency in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The case against the pacers may begin in the near future.