Zulqarnain Returns From Asylum After Assurance Of Security




Zulqarnain Haider

Zulqarnain Haider

Zulqarnain Haider, a former Pakistani player who had fled to London from Dubai last year while the team was still playing a series, has gone back to his country after assurance of security from the government.

Having refused the offer to fix two matches against South Africa in the same series, Zulqarnain received death threats, which prompted him to fly away to London where he sought political asylum. The reason he cited to the authorities for the asylum was the information that he could divulge about the people involved in fixing.

Soon the wicket-keeper batsman retired from international cricket and all along waited for the approval of his application for asylum.

Intikhab Alam, the team manager of the Pakistan team on the tour had then called Haider’s decision us “embarrassing”, while the captain Shahid Afridi called it “childish”.

The PCB subsequently made attempts to dig deep into the matter with a fact-finding committee, which eventually came to the conclusion that Haider was rather too “weak and nervous”. This report was then rebutted against by Haider who promised to take legal action against the board for dubbing him as weak.

The PCB eventually banned Zulqarnain for life-time for indiscipline and for breaking its contract with the 25 year old cricketer.

However over the past few days there was some dialogue between Zulqarnain and the Pakistani Home Minister Mr. Rehman Malik. The latter assured Haider that his family would be given full-security, while Haider said that he was willing to return to Pakistan. Mr. Malik had said, “I spoke to Zulqarnain [on Sunday] and reassured him that he and his family will be perfectly safe.”

Though there were some doubts over his return after some reports of the cricketer receiving threat calls were circulating around, yet Haider did leave for his homeland after updating this on his Facebook page.

On arriving at the airport in Islamabad, Haider said, “I am happy to return. There were solid reasons behind my going to London and I am sure everyone realized that no one can put his career at stake for nothing. “

He also said that he would meet the Chairman of PCB Mr. Ijaz Butt and would explain the reasons for his actions in detail.

Perhaps with Haider returning back to Pakistan, the PCB  might consider allowing him to come out of his retirement and play for the team, especially now that Pakistan are looking for a replacement for Kamran Akmal , who has been left out of the tour of West Indies after his poor performance at the World Cup.

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