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Saturday, January 14, 2017
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mohammad Asif's prolonged detention in Dubai has left the entire Pakistani cricket team concerned, says coach Geoff Lawson, who wants to have the embattled pacer back in the side as soon as he is released.

Asif has been in detention after being caught with a small quantity of contraband drugs at the Dubai International Airport on June 1.

Lawson said Pakistani players might be busy celebrating their ODI tri-series win over India but they are equally concerned about their detained teammate.

"We are praying and hoping for his early release and I would love to see Asif back in the side," Lawson told reporters after reaching Lahore from Dhaka.

"Everyone in the team has been talking about him not only as a cricketer but also as a person as well," he added.

Although impressed with Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz, who spearheaded the Pakistani attack in Asif's absence, Lawson said the two needed more time before rising to Asif's stature.

"They are good but I would still love to see Asif back in the side," he stated.

Asif's case is being heard by the Dubai Attorney General and is expected to take another 10 to 12 days before it is decided if the pacer would be charged or released.

Lawson said Pakistan's defeat to India in the tri-series group match was due to the fact that in the last few months Shoaib Malik's men had been playing weak oppositions in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

"I think switching from the twenty20 format to one-dayers took some time for the players and that led to our big defeat," he said.

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