Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler, has been released from his IPL contract by the Delhi Daredevils after 48 hours of meetings between the two parties.
"Due to personal reasons I'm having to take this step, and definitely it has not been easy requesting for this as I still have a contract valid for another two seasons, with lucrative financial benefits," Asif said. "Currently I'm under a tremendous amount of pressure at all ends and need to regain my focus on resolving matters by addressing them individually.
"My only purpose and wish is to play for my nation Pakistan again, and for that I need to disengage from any other cricket engagements and work towards this."
Delhi bought Asif for US$650,000 on a three-year contract, making him the second-most expensive Pakistan player in the league. He had a mixed tournament on the field, picking up eight wickets in eight games. He appealed against a failed drug test last year but was suspended by the previous PCB administration from all forms of the game pending the outcome of the IPL inquiry. The drugs tribunal set up by the league had a preliminary hearing in October with a follow-up to be held on January 24 in Mumbai.
Sources said the hearing would take place as scheduled, and Asif, during his talks with the Delhi Daredevils officials, sounded confident and on top of the issue.
Besides the controversy, Asif is also embroiled in another mess after he was detained at Dubai airport last June for possession of opium, a matter the PCB is looking into.