Pakistan cricket June 4, 2008

Asif likely to remain in detention

Cricinfo staff

Board officials are concerned that the test results on the substance Asif was detained for have still not arrived © Getty Images
Mohammad Asif is likely to remain in detention in Dubai for another three to four days, a Pakistan board official has said, quashing widespread speculation that he had been released or had charges against him dropped.

Asif has been detained at Dubai International Airport since Sunday after an allegedly contraband substance was found in his wallet. Since then, the PCB has appointed legal counsel for him and sent a senior board official to Dubai to handle the case.

Discussions took place between Asif's lawyer and prosecutors yesterday, though with no immediate resolution. A PCB official told Cricinfo that results from a urine test authorities carried out on Asif are still awaited, as are the results of a test on the substance itself. The fact that it has taken them so long to get results is in itself a concern, the official said.

Further complicating the matter is the fact that there has been a death in the UAE's royal family, which generally means that the various states will observe a period of mourning now over the next few days and that public offices may remain closed.

Several TV channels and newspapers reported today that charges against Asif had been dropped. Dawn newspaper reported the Pakistani ambassador to the UAE as saying that and that Asif was due to head back to Pakistan on the first available flight.

"These are incorrect as far as we know," a PCB official told Cricinfo. "The charges haven't even been laid against him so far. As far as we know of the process, the airport prosecutor lays the charges down and passes on to the public prosecutor who will then decide whether or not this should go to trial. That process, we have been told, can take three to four days. But we are concerned that they have not come back still with results of the urine test, which they carried out on Sunday and the tests on the substance."

Nadeem Akram, the PCB official handling the case in Dubai, told Cricinfo that a meeting is due to take place between Asif's lawyer and the chief prosecutor at 12pm local time in Dubai tomorrow. He also confirmed that they had not yet received any test results.