Dope-tainted Asif in ICC awards shortlist

Mumbai, October 22:

Pakistani paceman Mohammad Asif has been shortlisted for an ICC award despite testing positive for a banned substance, it was announced here on Sunday.

“Asif is eligible for the award as the period under consideration was before the doping offence,” said Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the ICC.

Asif, who was asked by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to return from the ongoing Champions Trophy along with pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, is among four players in contention for the ‘emerging player’ award. English batsmen Alastair Cook and Ian Bell and left-arm spinner Monty Panesear are the others in the reckoning.

Asif had tested positive for banned substance ‘nandralone’ during tests conducted by the PCB before the team left for India. “The PCB has conducted a hearing and we have been informed that a decision will be taken by October 26,” added Speed.

The player in reckoning for the maximum awards was Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, shortlisted in four categories. Ponting, 31, is a strong favourite for the ‘Test player’ award having scored nine centuries in Tests between August 1 last year and August 8 this year, the period for which the awards are being given.

Ponting’s run during the period includes three instances of scoring a century in each innings of a Test match. He is also in the running for ‘one day player’, ‘best captain’ and ‘player of the year’ award.

The panel for the awards — to be presented in Mumbai on November 3 — is headed by former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.

ICC shortlist:

Cricketer of the year

• Michael Hussey (AUS), Muttiah Muralitharan (SRI), Ricky Ponting (AUS), Mohammad Yousuf (PAK).

Test player of the year

• Muttiah Muralitharan, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne (AUS), Mohammad Yousuf.

ODI player of the year

• Michael Hussey, Mahela Jayawardene (SRI), Ricky Ponting, (AUS), Yuvraj Singh (IND)

Emerging PoY

• Mohammad Asif (PAK), Alastair Cook (ENG), Ian Bell (ENG), Monty Panesar (ENG)

Captain of the year

• Ricky Ponting (AUS), Rahul Dravid (IND), Michael Vaughan (ENG), Mahela Jayawardene(SRI)

Woman player of the year

• Karen Rolton (AUS), Anjum Chopra (IND), Katherne Brunt (ENG)

Spirit of cricket

• India, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka

Best umpire of the year

• Aleem Dar (PAK), Rudi Koertzen (RSA), Simon Taufel (AUS)