Runaway wicketkeeper returns home

Pakistani cricketer Zulqarnain Haider has returned home after withdrawing his application claim for asylum in the UK

    Zulqarnain Haider making a catch during a Test between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston in 2010 [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Pakistan continued their dominance over the West Indies after a seven wicket victory at Beausejour Stadium on Monday gave them a 2-0 lead in their five match one-day international series.

    However, despite the team's recent on field successes, scandal continues to plague the Pakistani players off the field. On Monday, Pakistani cricketer Zulqarnain Haider returned home to Pakistan after finally being assured by the government of his family's safety. 

    The wicketkeeper had fled the team hotel in Dubai last November during a one-day series against South Africa after claiming he had received death threats for refusing to take part in match fixing.

    The 24-year-old had applied for asylum in Britain but after recently meeting with Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, he said he would return home and withdrew his application with the British Home Office.

    Future uncertain

    Landing at Islamabad airport, Haider was whisked away by security personnel.

    Haider said the Pakistan government has provided him with foolproof security and excellent accommodation but added he has not yet decided when to return to international cricket.

    "When I landed at the airport everything was superb,'' Haider said.

    Speaking to reporters in Malik's office after their meeting, Haider said he will tell Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt why he fled to Britain from Dubai in November.

    "When I meet Ijaz Butt I will share with him too, and explain it to him."
     
    "I have not decided when I will come back to international cricket because I want to spend some time with my family."

    Code breach

    A Pakistan Cricket Board inquiry late last year into Haider's actions was told by some of the national team's support staff that Haider had a complex personality, "weak nerves'' and was "a person who is easily convinced into believing whatever is said to him."

    The PCB, who terminated his contract soon after he fled the team hotel and also held back his match fees, has said he will also have to go through a disciplinary process for breaching the players' code of conduct and his contractual obligations by leaving the team without informing management.

    "No sensible person would sacrifice an international cricket career and flee to another country to seek asylum. I have my reasons for doing that," responded Haider.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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