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.

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

  1. Cricketer says:

    Let me point out here that a player who had the courage and calmnness to play two remarkable innings for Pakistan will not act irrationally. A brief analysis will open our minds to some facts.
    ZH was sent home after remarkable test performance from England?????
    This time he refused to be sidelined, hence the resort to such bully tactics.
    Who could harrass him? Well THE MANAGEMENT. When this did not work the ‘FRIENDS’ of the Management were asked to do the job.
    Who are the FRIENDS? The BOOKIES.
    Who benefits? Akmal clan.
    Could they be ADVANCEMEN for the Bookies?
    Your guess is as good as mine.Now where does PCB APPEAR.Sadly nowhere.Does that mean BOOKIES are running cricket in Pakistan? Again your guess is as good as mine.
    So God help us.

  2. Ahmed says:

    I am really sorry that I can’t get too worked up about this. Cricket is no longer sacrosanct as it once was when I was growing up. Having lived in the West for too long, I view sportsmen as merely entertainers. Not unlike movie stars, or comedians. Some entertain by playing well and winning. Others by their comical antics and intrigue – much like our very own cricket team. But, the end result is all good! The fans are entertained either way. So, grab some beer, lean back, and take in the fun.


  3. Perhaps, Zulqarnain was reached by Bookies and he denied their offer due to his patriotism with Pakistan. He was then threatened by bookies, and PCB was not providing him support and confidence. I also noticed Zulqarnain playing in 4th One day, he was looking quite and no players were talking to him freely. I think Zulqarnain was ignored by the team members. If the above is true then I must say that cricket and PCB should be banned by ICC for at least one year. So that they can learn something.

  4. Hermoon Gill says:

    Pakistan cricket has become the world’s laughing stock.They never cease to be clowns and fodders for the media.It all started when Inzimam decided to walk out of the test and forfet the test match to England.Thus began Pakistan cricket’s circus of comedy.
    ZH has set the trend of how to seek residence in England by claiming to be threatened by match fixers.I fear low level first class cricketers will join the queue.
    Pakistani ambassador Wajid Shamsul Hassan is working overtime meeting one Pakistani cricketer after another.

  5. Bangash says:

    Please ICC, please ban Pakistan cricket for 12 months and provide some relief to its long-suffering fans.

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