PCB suspend Haider

Wicketkeeper gets no support from senior Pakistan politician

Last updated: 10th November 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

PCB suspend Haider

Haider: sought refuge in London

If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team.

Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani
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The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended the central contract of Zulqarnain Haider after failing to make contact with the wicketkeeper.

Haider responded to apparent death threats by fleeing to London before his country took on South Africa in the fifth and final one-dayer on Monday.

He abandoned the squad after apparently receiving threats over his part in Pakistan's victory in the fourth ODI, in which he hit the winning runs.

The 24-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket and told Pakistan TV station Geo that he planned to seek political asylum in Britain.

Statement

The PCB have now suspended the contract of absent player, whilst also announcing in a statement that they have so far failed to get in touch with him.

"(The) PCB has suspended the contract of Mr Zulqarnain Haider for violating terms and conditions," the statement read.

"A fact-finding committee has been formulated to establish the facts surrounding the incident of Mr Haider's disappearance from the team hotel.

"The committee includes Mr Subhan Ahmad (PCB), Mr Intikhab Alam (Pakistan team manager) and Major Khawaja Najam (security manger Pakistan team). The committee will meet soon.

"PCB is trying to get in touch with Mr Haider but the attempts to contact him have so far remained unsuccessful.

"No further comments on this matter will be made until further information is available with PCB."

Meanwhile, Haider has been branded "weak" by Pakistan's sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani, who insists the government will not support the player's asylum application in the UK.

Jakhrani's comments come after Haider sought refuge in London having left the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai just hours before the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

"The government will not support any move from Zulqarnain to get asylum in the UK," Jakhrani told reporters.

"We don't support his actions and believe he should have come to us if he was under threat from anyone.

"He didn't have confidence in the national team management or (Pakistan Cricket Board)."

Jakhrani added: "If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team.

"This is not way for a member of the national team to behave or for even a professional cricketer to behave."

Jakhrani also confirmed that the government would be asking the PCB to submit a report on the incident.

"We don't want to interfere in the internal matters of the board but we certainly want to know why this has happened as it affects the image of the country," Jakhrani said.

"But no doubt this incident has disappointed us.

"Zulqarnain should have come to us for help."

Contradictory

The Haider story took another twist on Tuesday night when it emerged the player had told a television news channel he was prepared to play for his country again provided they could guarantee his safety.

Pakistani network Geo News carried the contradictory quotes from the player, who suggested he was not looking to make his stay in the UK permanent and would be prepared to play for his country again provided the PCB were willing and able to accommodate him and his assurances of safety.

"The (UK) border agency has taken my fingerprints and issued me a temporary stay," Haider told www.geo.tv.

"I had no intentions of applying for political asylum at this stage and, if the Pakistan government is ready to give me assurance of security for me and my family, I am ready to return to Pakistan.

"I have no issues playing for Pakistan again provided the Pakistan Cricket Board wants me to play."