The new cricketing sensation from Pakistan, Mohammad Asif, is to be deported from Dubai.
The 26-year-old Asif was detained by customs authorities at the airport Sunday on charges of possessing drugs.
He was returning home after playing for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL semi-final against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai Friday.
Apparently he was arrested after being trapped by a sniffer dog in the transit lounge of the Dubai airport. One Pakistani Cricket Board official told that the cricketer appeared to be in possession of cigarettes filled with hashish. Pakistan's foreign office said it was in touch with the authorities in Dubai.
Forensic tests have since proved Mohammad Asif was carrying a small amount of hashish. The authorities may not refer the case to court but deport the player, media reports said Thursday.
"The Dubai Attorney General is expected to sign administrative deportation orders, thereby ensuring that the case is not referred to the Dubai Courts," 'Khaleej Times' quoted the sources as saying.
But that is no great consolation for Asif. He could face a life time ban from cricket, though the Pakistani Cricket Board seems to be backing him to the hilt.
He has only played a few international cricket matches but is already being compared to the great Australian Glenn McGrath. He shares a similar high arm action to McGrath and probes the corridor of uncertainty outside the off-stump. He has proved lethal in his short international career as he gets the ball to move both ways creating doubt in the mind of the batsman.
Asif was banned for a year and his team-mate Shoaib Akhtar for two years after they tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone in October 2006. But the ban was lifted on appeal two months later.
According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, an athlete faces a life ban if he or she is found positive a second time.
IPL sources also said Asif might be banned from future editions of the tournament if he was found guilty. Various players were tested for dope during the IPL tournament that ended Sunday. IPL officials were trying to ascertain if Asif was one of those tested last week. If so, they would submit the sample for re-analysis.