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 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.