Dubai, June 4 : The charge of possessing hashish against Pakistan's fast bowler Mohammad Asif has been dropped, said the country's ambassador in Abu Dhabi Ahsan Ullah Khan.
He said the fast bowler was detained because of a 'misunderstanding' which had now been cleared.
Asif was detained at the Dubai Airport yesterday while he was returning to his country from India after participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was charged with possessing illegal drugs.
The cricketer would be released soon and would take the first available flight to Pakistan, the Dawn quoted the ambassador as saying.
He had earlier said that lawyers appointed to handle Asif's case were in contact with the Dubai prosecution office and the Pakistani missions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai were providing all possible support to the cricketer.
Meanwhile, Nadeem Akram, director of HR at the Pakistan Cricket Board, also arrived in Dubai to follow up the case.
Pakistan's senior cricket officials had been 'working behind the scenes' to get Asif off the hook. PCB sources said that 'high-level' contacts have been made by top Board officials with authorities in United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Asif's release.
The Board officials had initially relied on the support of the Pakistani Embassy in UAE but were later forced to take matters in their own hands after getting 'quite a cold shoulder' from there.
Sources said that Pakistan's Ambassador to UAE didn't take PCB's request for help in getting Asif released very seriously. "Senior PCB officials were actually shocked at the attitude of senior Embassy officials including the Ambassador. They were quite unwilling to provide any worthwhile support," said the sources.
Story first published: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 11:12 [IST]
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