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Asif steps over the wedding line

Asif WeddingLAHORE: Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif celebrated his wedding to childhood friend Sana Hilal in Lahore on Thursday.

Asif, who is being investigated by British police in a major spot-fixing scandal, officially tied the knot in March but the celebrations were held in the capital of Punjab after Asif’s return from England last month.

The 27-year-old was one of three Pakistani players provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council after a British tabloid claimed no-balls were delivered to order during last month’s Lord’s Test against England.

The ICC is expected to form a commission to hear the case after Scotland Yard completes an investigation.

“I hope marriage will be the turning point in my career and change my life in a positive way,” Asif was quoted as saying by local television channels.

Several team-mates, including Test cricketers Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq were reportedly present at the wedding festivities.

“Asif is very relaxed and is hopeful that he will be cleared of any spot-fixing charges. He hopes that his wedding will bring luck for him,” said a family friend, who did not want to be named.

Since his debut in 2005, Asif’s career has been dogged by controversy.

He twice failed dope tests and twice tested positive for a banned steroid.

In 2006, he was banned for one year – a punishment overturned on appeal.

But when he tested positive again in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season in 2008, his appeal against a one-year ban failed.

He was then arrested at Dubai airport for possessing a banned drug while returning from the IPL.

He was detained for 19 days and deported after police found the quantity of the banned drug “insufficient” to pursue a case.

Further scandal came when actress and model Veena Malik claimed he owed her huge amounts of money.

She also alleged that Asif was involved in match-fixing and was said to have handed evidence to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit earlier this month.

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