Pakistan's beleaguered paceman Mohammed Asif quit his Indian Premier League team Delhi Daredevils with immediate effect citing personal reasons.
"Due to my 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 in a statement on Monday, without elaborating on whether the contract could be revived in future.
Asif, who was detained in Dubai on charges of drug possession on his way from India to Pakistan after the end of the inaugural IPL season, had a series of meetings with Delhi Daredevils officials over the past two days following which it was mutually agreed to release the bowler.
"Currently I'm undergoing tremendous pressure at all ends and need to regain my focus on resolving matters by addressing them individually," the bowler said.
"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," he said.
Asif's decision came a four days before he is due to appear before the IPL Drug Tribunal.
"I have had a wonderful time playing for the Delhi Daredevils and I will continue to follow their progress as also of the players who were my teammates in the Indian Premier League and continue to be my friends hereafter," he added.
Delhi Daredevils owners GMR Sports' Director B Vanchi said the franchisee respected Asif's wish to priortise country before club cricket.
"Asif was an intergral part of the Delhi Daredevils team and we wish him all the best and appreciate and support his decision to prioritise playing for Pakistan again," said Vanchi.