South Asia

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Asif dropped from film

Mohammad Asif
Image caption Mohammad Asif had signed up for a regional Indian film

Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif, who is under scrutiny for claims of spot-fixing, has been dropped from an Indian movie, its director has told the BBC.

Kaithapram Damodaran Namboodiri said he had hired Asif for his directorial debut, Mazhavillilinattamvare (Till the edge of the rainbow).

Asif was to play a Pakistani cricketer who comes to a coaching camp in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

The film is about friendship told through the game of cricket, he said.

Mr Namboodiri said he had signed up the bowler two months ago after his son conducted a screen test with the cricketer in London.

"He is a friendly and nice guy. I was shocked to hear about the allegations, so I dropped him from the film," said Mr Namboodiri.

The director said Asif was supposed to come down to Kerala for a 25-day shooting stint next month.

The 27-year-old had been set for a "major part" in the film, which is to be made in the Malayalam language, spoken in Kerala.

"He was to play a Pakistani cricketer who comes down to India to hold a coaching camp for Indian players," said Mr Namboodiri.

The director added he had initially contacted former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram to play the role, but he had declined.

He said he was now seeking a replacement for Asif: "I have the names of two or three Pakistani cricketers in my mind."

Asif, along with team mates Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Kamran Akmal, have all been questioned by police over claims of spot fixing during Pakistan's ongoing tour of England, although wicketkeeper Akmal is no longer under investigation.

Asif is one of the top Pakistani fast bowlers with over 150 wickets in Test and one day international games.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites