New age May 7, 2007

A vice too early

Mohammad Asif, the McGrath of Sheikhapura, has been appointed Pakistan's vice-captain. This is a bold move by the PCB, who have now firmly stated their intention to invest in a new generation of Pakistan cricketers. Already, Asif has shown himself to be an outstanding fast bowler, somebody whose career might reach astronomical heights.

He is a feisty bowler with an engaging on-field persona. But just as early he has fallen into the snare of nandrolone, inadvertently if we are to believe his protestations - and there is no reason not to. A WADA inquiry hangs over him. If I were working for WADA I would consider only one thing worse than a suspect sportsman playing international sport, and that would be a suspect sportsman in a position of responsibility.

Mohammad Asif might well be a judicious choice as vice captain but it is injudicious to appoint him before the WADA business is done. A vice too early for the young man's good.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here