Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider Disappears: The Absurd Becomes Bizarre

Posted on November 8, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Sports
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Adil Najam

The absurdity that is the off- and on-field shenanigans of the Pakistan cricketers just moved up a notch and became outright bizarre. Maybe even more.

Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain, who had been so pivotal in winning the fourth one-day against South Africa last week, seemingly disappeared before the final game today; he then appeared equally mysteriously in England; and now there is a message on what is supposed to be his Facebook page saying that he is “leaving pakistan cricket because get bad msg fr 1 man fr lose the match in last game.”

I have no idea what to make of this. Is this for real? Is this a hoax? Is this another facebook scam? Or is this another cruel joke being played by fate on cricket lovers in Pakistan. Whatever it is, it is now all over the internet and a cause of deepening despair amongst Pakistani cricket fans. Deeper now that we lost of the fifth and final one-day game, and therefore also the series after having performed so valiantly in the last games.

Here are the details as reported in The Express Tribune. It is clear that no one yet knows what the story is. But it is quite clear that – true or not – it is not a pretty story.

DUBAI: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has arrived in England after mysteriously disappearing hours before the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa in Dubai. Television pictures clearly showed Zulqarnain arriving at Heathrow Airport on Monday afternoon.

Earlier, Director Media Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Nadeem Sarwar confirmed that Haider was missing, while team manager Intikhab Alam said that he cannot comment on this situation as yet. Sarwar also said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Dubai Police had been informed about the situation.
Haider left a message on his Facebook page saying that he is leaving the cricket team because he was told to lose the match by a man.

His brother Reza told Reuters from Lahore that Zulqarnain had expressed fears after receiving threatening messages. “The last time I spoke to him he told me he was getting threatening messages after the fourth match and to pray for him,” said Reza before adding his family was in touch with Zulqarnain and concerned about his safety. “We would like to know a lot of things like why did the PCB management give him his passport, were they aware of the threats he had got?”, Reza said.

The PCB said Zulqarnain had asked Pakistan officials for his passport. “Zulqarnain was in possession of his passport at the time he left the hotel, which he had taken from the team management the previous evening for personal use,” said the board. PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi told Reuters that Zulqarnain had breached his central contract. “He will definitely face an inquiry and disciplinary action whenever he contacts us. But we are concerned about this whole situation,” said Rizvi.

Lahore police official Rana Faisal said they were investigating Zulqarnain’s disappearance. “We have received no official complaint but taking note of the media reports we have sent some officers to his house (in Lahore) to find out details,” Faisal said.

Haider was also fined 500 dirhams on Sunday after he broke curfew hours imposed by the team management. Meanwhile, Umar Akmal has started preparations to replace Haider as wicketkeeper for today’s match, while Muhammad Yousuf and Shahzeb has also been included in the team.

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25 responses to “Wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider Disappears: The Absurd Becomes Bizarre”

  1. Rafique says:

    Yaar, hadd hoti hai. Yeh cricketer bhai tou hadd say he guzar gayee hain!

  2. Beena says:

    There is something sinister. I think the bookies must be threatening him

  3. Naan Haleem says:

    I dont know why but it reminds me of December 10, 2000 when Sharif family was hurriedly exported to Saudi Arabia.

  4. MB says:

    All this sounds a huge comedy of errors.

    Why did he go to UK? Why not back to Pakistan? Why not take shelter in Pakistan High commission in UAE if there was such a threat to his life? His facebook page seems fishy – created recently and hist first post claims about Micky Arthur match-fixing claims.

    And equally surprising is the fact that PCB/ICC is silent about it. I am really wondering how can a 24 year old behave in such a childish manner….he has to be a big nincompoop.

  5. SM says:

    This was the least place I was expecting to find this post. As this news is full of “Media Masala”, so does is captured by ATP. Rather then talking on big issues, like Gold and copper mines issue etc. we are spending valuable energy in reading and commenting on one person’s personal act. Shame on us

  6. Wadood says:

    Odd and disturbing. But also an example of the state of confusion that everything in Pakistan is in these days.

  7. Pakistani says:

    I suppose most of the visitors to this blog are expatriates and are sincerely concerned about what is happening in their beloved homeland
    Things in Pakistan are at its worst,nobody could think of what is happening here. Just a jungle law, decoits ruling the country, their accomplises(oppostion) waiting in the wings for their turn.
    Cricket has never been spared by these greedy lords,they were invovled in match fixing in the past and even now they all in for making billions through this most populat sport of South Asia.
    Zulqarnain Haider was found the easiest target to warn other players so that they play as Master Gambler wants them to play.
    Real shamful and disgusting.
    Pray for the country ,dear countrymen

  8. Capri5315 says:

    Here comes an asylum claim!!!

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