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The Sorry Tale of Pakistan Cricket

November 10, 2010

The last time I checked the news, Pakistan had squared the series against South Africa in Dubai and was all set for the fantastic final. Apparently the team had left the spot-fixing scandal far behind and was looking ahead to a much needed series win. But as wise people say, when the issues are deeply embedded in the system things can never come back on track overnight.

All match-fixing, spot-fixing allegations aside, no one had imagined that our newly appointed wicket keeper would chicken out in the middle of the series. Throw in the match-fixing scandal with an added masala of sectarian issue, spice it up with the death threat and the subsequent efforts to seek asylum in the United Kingdom and tag it with ‘Pakistan Cricket’.  The fresh cricket soap episode is indeed spicier than before.

Zulqarnain Haider belongs to a Shia sect and initially there were reports of differences between Zulqarnain and his team mates on the sectarian grounds. It sounds absurd because not long ago a Hindu Danish Kaneria and before conversion Muhammad Yusaf (a Christian) played for the national team on merits and they never mentioned discrimination. Having said that doesn’t mean that they never faced any discrimination. Perhaps they might have chosen not to speak about it.

According to the news before the final match, Zulqarnain sneaked out of his hotel and went to London. He booked a room in Heathrow and alleged that he was contacted by bookies during the series and when he refused to comply with their orders, they threatened to kill him. He got extremely scared, that he immediately left UAE without taking any single person from the team management into confidence.

His statements somehow fail to convince. When asked why he left Dubai in haste without talking to his team management he said, ‘ I didn’t want to explain all things to my management because if I tell them, maybe it would create problems for my team-mates and my management.’

Poor Zulqarnain has isolated himself. If his version of facts are true than it is truly concerning how players could be bullied or influenced by bookies. But the question is that who will prove the veracity of his statement. There hasn’t been any outcome of earlier match-fixing scandal yet.

In the light of these developments Zulqarnain sought temporary asylum in the UK. The shocked PCB cancelled Zulqarnain’s central contract and in the words of Ramiz Raja, ‘The advice from headquarters is that he has played his last game for Pakistan. The PCB won’t encourage him to come back and play again, because the whole thing is a total embarrassment.’

One can’t help think that why the team management can’t exercise effective control. Don’t they direct the players to immediately report to them any suspicious and threatening call or meeting? Does the team management have clean hands? Are they serious about the upcoming One Day International World Cup at all? Does anyone care that how unjust it is to deprive thousands of fans of a happiness that they seek in each game won by the Pakistan team?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 11:48 pm

    agreed agreed!

  2. November 11, 2010 11:39 am

    and the nation was happy that some backbone in pakistani cricket is showing. Seems like everything is taking drastic turns whenever possible.. lets see how this saga unfolds with time

    • November 11, 2010 7:33 pm

      You know it is pathetic, every time Pakistan Cricket team loses there are whispers of a match being fixed. This has killed the essence of the game. It’ll take ages to regain the confidence of people.

  3. November 11, 2010 8:31 pm

    I used to like watch cricket but since Mohammad Yousaf, Inzamam , Saeed Anwar and other value able cricketers left, I stopped watching it… and nowadays I don’t know who won and who lost. At the present time my favorite team is Afghanistan team and there are rumours about Afghanistan cricket team gonna play against Pakistan in the coming world cup. I wish Shahid, Umer and other Pukhtana players move to Afghanistan cricket team because PCB doesn’t have respect for them. And about match fixing; that’s their own Punjabi people did and Alhamdullilah there was no Pukhtun involved in it… Alhamdullilah…

    Good reading as always.:P

  4. November 11, 2010 8:32 pm

    I think this young man just got scared of someome threatening him – whatever he did, his absence made the difference (if he was to repeat his performance of the 4th ODI). I blame the aging Inty and the security officer of having had all this happened. Why was he handed over his passport and even if he was, his acts thereafter should have been closely monitored rather than allowing him to skip away.

  5. Sabeeh permalink
    November 19, 2010 8:32 am

    Security officer should be resigned.

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