KARACHI, Oct 17: Pakistan’s dashing fast bowler Mohammad Asif never indulged in cannabis smoking at any time during the England tour, his agent Azhar Majeed said from London on Tuesday.
Denying the eye witness account of events published in Monday’s edition of the newspaper regarding fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Asif smoking prohibited stuff at Southampton’s third one-day game against England, Azhar said no such incident ever took place.
Azhar (referred in Monday’s story as Azhar Mota), an England and Wales Cricket Board-approved player agent, said he represented a number of Pakistan players in England and would vouch for the fact that none of them were into such ‘addictions’.
“I am not speaking for Shoaib Akhtar here because I donot represent him, but as far as Asif, Shoaib Malik and a few others are concerned they are absolutely clean,” said Azhar in a telephonic conversation from London.
“I myself am a teetotaller and abhor such habits in people. I wouldn’t be representing these players had they been involved in foul play of this sort.”
Azhar, whose company TBL has former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq as partner, also denied the presence of Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood in Southampton on the day of the match. “He (Azhar Mahmood) never came to Southampton so how can he supply anything to anyone?” asked Azhar. “And as far my discussing the contract with Asif is concerned, it is misreported too because I take my commission from the counties and not from the players for their contracts.”
Meanwhile, all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has also denied ever supplying the banned stuff to the Pakistan players. “It is absolutely wrong to implicate me in such dirty business,” said the fast bowling all-rounder who plays for Surrey. “And to call me a former player is also not justified because I intend to make a comeback to the national side pretty soon.”