BBC called him refugee cricketer, his team mates believe that his behavior is childish, while team manager Intikhab Alam and PCB officials feel that he is a psychopath. You have guessed it probably by now; I am talking about none other than Pakistan cricket team wicket keeper batsmen Zulqarnain Haider. His actions and tale is a riddle to be solved but not known by whom it could be done.
Zulqarnain Haider arrived in the United Kingdom leaving Pakistan cricket team in Dubai earlier this November after receiving threatening messages following his match-winning performance in Pakistan’s 4th ODI against South Africa. On his Facebook page he left a message that read:
leaving Pakistan cricket because get bad msg fr 1 man fr lose the match in last game.
Announcing his retirement from international cricket on arriving in London, he said had been approached in Dubai by a person who asked him to fix the fourth and fifth games against South Africa. His central contract was subsequently suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Something is fishy about him and PCB from beginning of this story till the end. Zulqarnain played one Test match on Pakistan’s hugely controversial tour of England before a minor injury forced him home while he was the one in that match to hit winning runs to grab victory. During series against South Africa in Dubai he demanded his passport from team management, easily got it and ran away. Is it that simple? I think PCB has to be blamed equally as the player himself for the incident.
Interestingly, the story is still unfolding after day or two Zulqarnain had to say something about his team mates or his self exile. He had also requested for political asylum in UK. His family has reported receiving threatening phone calls to the police in Pakistan after Haider had updated his Facebook page with a message saying he would blow the whistle on “those who have taken money”:
All these people who are saying negative things about me, they should wait for five more days, then I will show them my background and status. After five days I will show them their background and place, and also those who don’t take money and those who have taken money.
He keeps on saying that he would expose those involved in corrupt practices in Pakistan cricket sooner or later ever since he arrived in London and yesterday again he has said that he would disclose all the secrets pertaining to corruption in sport within two days.
I am totally mystified over the situation. He flees Dubai after getting calls to be involved in match fixing and now he wants to expose players involved in such practices. Is someone within the team threatens him whom he wants to expose?
We will have to wait and watch for his next move. Hope that he would gather enough audacity for doing the world of cricket a great favor by identifying the offenders. During this whole episode PCB has proved that it is the dumbest ever cricketing body in the world.