Asif to attend IPL, but only as a spectator

Karachi, Wed, 15 Apr 2009 ANI

Karachi, Apr 15 (ANI): Mohammad Asif, who became the first ever doping offender of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last summer, will make a comeback to the cash-rich Twenty20 league in South Africa, not as a player, but as a spectator.


The Pakistani fast bowler is on a rehabilitation mission which takes him to London on Wednesday (today) for a couple of weeks, before he leaves for South Africa to witness some of the IPL matches there next month.


Asif, 26, is hoping to make a successful return to international cricket during this year's ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, soon after his one-year ban ends in September.


The pacer was banned by the IPL after he tested positive for banned anabolic steroid nandrolone last summer while featuring in the inaugural season of the Twenty20 spectacle for Delhi Daredevils.


His agent says that the fitness plan has been devised in a way that can help Asif ease his way back into international cricket with the eight-nation Champions Trophy.


"All the setbacks that have hit him in the last year or so have left Asif really exhausted," said Salman Ahmed, an official of the company managing Asif.


"We have prepared a fitness regime for him that will help him recover both mentally and physically," The News quoted him, as saying.


The plan is to make Asif work under expert trainers in England for at least four weeks, and then start playing league cricket there.


Several clubs based either in Cambridge and greater Manchester has shown a lot of interest in hiring Asif for this season.


After playing in England for a couple of months, Asif is stated to return home in August for a final phase of training for the Champions Trophy. (ANI)


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