Pakistan asks IPL to reduce Mohammad Asif ban

Pakistan’s cricket chief said on Friday he had asked the Indian Premier League (IPL) to reduce a one-year ban against fast bowler Mohammad Asif by two months.

The IPL on Wednesday slapped a one-year ban on Asif for failing a dope test during last year’s inaugural tournament.

The ban means Asif is not eligible to be selected for international matches, under rules set out by the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council.

But Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt said he had written to the IPL asking them to reduce the ban by two months.

“I have sent a letter to the IPL asking them to date Asif’s ban from July 14, 2008, when the IPL said he failed a dope test instead of from September last year,” Butt said.

Asif, 26, tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone during the opening season of the Twenty20 tournament in 2008.

The IPL said the one-year ban would run from September 22, 2008 – when the league suspended Asif from play. Butt said the troubled bowler was a national asset.

“We want to do what we can do for a bowler who is an asset for the team. The reduction will allow Asif to play early,” said Butt.

Asif is considering an appeal against the ban and has invited sports medicine expert Michael Graham to Pakistan. Graham assisted Asif during the IPL drug tribunal hearing in Mumbai.

“The order sent by IPL is strangely signed by only one of the jury members, whereas the other two jury members have not signed it,” said a statement from Asif’s agents Portfolio World.

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