Scandal-clad Pakistan paceman Asif to wed

Lahore: Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif, who is being investigated by British police in a major spot-fixing scandal, is to celebrate his wedding this week.

Asif and bride Sana Hilal signed a formal wedding contract under Islamic law in March, but a series of celebrations and receptions are due to take place in Pakistan`s cultural capital of Lahore from Tuesday.

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 captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamir -- the others suspended by the ICC – are expected to attend the festivites.

"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

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.