A FORMER Ribblesdale League professional has become the first man to be banned for doping in Pakistan domestic cricket – and now his career could be over.

Kashif Siddique has been thrown out of the game for two years after testing positive for a banned substance during a routine drug test while competing in the Pakistan domestic Twenty20 competition.

Siddique was professional at both Padiham and Clitheroe, who he helped win the Ribblesdale League title last season.

Clitheroe opted for a change for this season and signed Sri Lankan Janake Gunarantne for their title defence, although there is no suggestion that there was a doping issue while Siddique was playing in the area.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that it carried out random dope test on players during the national T20 championship in Lahore last November and Siddique, who is known by the name Kashif Siddique Khan in his homeland, failed and he was banned after a personal hearing this week.

“The tests were carried out in accordance with the PCB Anti-Doping Rules which comply with WADA regulations,” read a PCB statement. “An adverse analytical finding was reported by the National Dope Testing Laboratory in New Delhi, India against the sample collected from Kashif Siddique Khan, a player of State Bank of Pakistan.”

The board said that initially it issued a show cause notice to Siddique, 32, and provisionally suspended him from taking part in domestic cricket.

“The Anti-Doping Tribunal comprised Shahid Karim, Advocate Supreme Court, Wasim Bari, and Dr Ucksy Mallick who after conducting detailed personal hearings found Kashif Siddique Khan guilty of violating Article 2.1 of the PCB’s Anti-Doping Code, presence of a prohibited substance or its Metabolites or Markers in a Cricketer’s Sample, and imposed a ban of two years on him effective from January this year,” it added.

Siddique was the captain of the State Bank team in Pakistan’s domestic competition and is the son of a respected umpire in his homeland.

Former Test pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif also failed dope tests in 2006, but the tests were conducted out of competition and their bans were overturned on appeal.

Siddique scored 1,808 runs and claimed 216 wickets in his two seasons with Clitheroe after moving to Chatburn Road from Padiham, where he spent seven years.

All eyes will be on the cricket tomorrow as the first round of the Ramsbottom Cup takes centre stage.

Cup holders Ribblesdale Wanderers begin their defence with a testing clash with Great Harwood, who are taking wickets for fun this season.

That is a big game at the Cliffe and promises to be a tasty clash as Aussie ace Ben Dougall tries to quell the threat of Harwood’s in-form paceman Stuart Maher, who has picked up 15 wickets this season.

Last year’s runners-up Brooksbottom had to come through a preliminary round where they saw off Earby at The Brox – a game that saw Earby’s only defeat of the season – and they travel to Salesbury.

The Red Caps have made a good start with two wins from three league games, while Brooksbottom have yet to register in the league.

Ttitle favourites Clitheroe make the short trip to league leaders Whalley for what is the game of the day, while Read welcome back Jon Harvey for their tie with Barnoldswick at Whalley Road.

Padiham travel to Euxton high on confidence while Gary Sudworth’s Baxenden are in the mood for a cup run and they welcome league new boys Brinscall to Back Lane.

Oswaldtwistle Immanuel are many people’s tip for the cup this season and they face Edenfield at New Lane with Settle making the long trip to Settle in the day’s other game.

All tomorrow’s games start at 1pm and if the weather intervenes they will take place on Sunday.