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Zulqarnain deserves our support, not our taunts

The writer is a lawyer and political commentator based in London

Since Zulqarnain Haider arrived at Heathrow earlier this week, there has been an attempt from certain quarters to malign him as unpatriotic. So let’s look at the facts. In the Leeds Test against Australia this summer, Haider scored the highest number of runs on the Pakistan side. Although we lost the match, his 88 runs in the second innings made our loss respectable. Yet he was not given a test cap, customarily given to players to commemorate the match. Instead, he was punished by being sent home on the basis of an “injury” though he repeatedly said he was fit to play. More recently, in the 4th ODI against South Africa in Dubai, Haider was instrumental to a Pakistan win but had to leave Dubai mysteriously and amid threats, most likely because he played his best and not as he was expected to.

The pressure to cheat may be more sinister at the international level, but also rears its ugly head domestically. Reportedly, Haider refused to be influenced as captain of the Lahore Eagles. As a result, he was removed as captain ahead of a match against the National Bank of Pakistan. In that match, Lahore’s first-time bowler, Usman Sarwar, conceded 78 runs in three overs, leading Salman Butt to score 92 off 25 balls. It is little wonder then that our young and talented fall prey to corruption. Not every 24-year-old will have the guts to withstand such pervasive pressure. But when someone does show that resolve, like Haider, we owe him our unflinching support.

Deep down we all know that had he turned to the Pakistan Cricket Board he would not have gotten justice. So many allegations, so many inconsistencies have preceded this controversy and yet nothing has come of them. Why are some upset then that Haider flew to London? What kind of false notion of national pride are we hanging on to? To be sure, the links of these betting syndicates will undoubtedly transcend Pakistan’s boundaries. India and Dubai are places that immediately come to mind as potential venues of bookie rackets. Judging by the ICC’s lackadaisical reaction and unimaginative approach in rooting out corruption from the game, it would be unsurprising if the reach of the betting syndicates was further and wider.

This is not about Pakistan but about cricket and about right and wrong. To those who cannot see beyond the idea that Haider claimed asylum and is seeking an exit from Pakistan, all I can tell them is that for a cricketer like Haider there are far easier ways to immigrate. Canada, Holland, Ireland all have young cricket teams and would be willing to pick up talented cricketers from Pakistan and expedite their immigration papers. Besides, between money (of the kind Haider would have made had he succumbed) and a British passport, money goes a lot further.

Corruption may be widespread in Pakistan but we need to be proud of the fact that we have honest and patriotic individuals like Zulqarnain Haider who, at great cost to themselves, refuse to sell out the motherland. He will surely face several obstacles along the way and there will be times when he may question his resolve because it is not easy to expose the corruption of the powerful. But in this trying time we must, as patriotic Pakistanis who wish to root out corruption from our land, stand with him.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2010.

Ayesha Ijaz Khan November 13, 2010

Reader Comments (56)

  • Rightly said. It is a shame for the whole nation that our cricket team member is bieng threatened by the bookies and he is running for his life. We can’t even defend our celebrities. Zulqarnain needs to be praised for his honesty. May be he didn’t tell the PCB becasue he was scared that he will not get any help from them … fishy fishy ….

    QB Nov 13, 2010 - 12:17AM
  • very good article. this is 100 percent true. Zulqarnain is a patriotic player and his opponents are fellows of bookies…Zulqarnain zindabad….we all pray for you Zulqarnian…inshaAllah you will be a winner and your opponents will loose…ameen ..sumameen

    Abdullah Nov 13, 2010 - 12:30AM
  • Very true!!
    agreed !

    stone age Nov 13, 2010 - 1:12AM
  • Get ready to be sorely disappointed, Ms. Khan. Zulqarnain is not a hero and in fact is about to discredit a lot of potential real heroes who might, in the future, actually try to clean up our system and might need support. But because of what Mr. Haider has done, sadly they won’t be receiving it.

    SKA Nov 13, 2010 - 1:17AM
  • Great post….I agree 100%

    Amna Nov 13, 2010 - 1:41AM
  • Now they’ve come up with a story that Zulqarnain was being dropped for Umar Akmal anyways. never heard of such crap before. they seriously expect us to believe that. But this proves that the team management and the PCB are involved up to their eye brows. also the inaction from the ICC suggest that they too are either colluding or condoning this behavior. Just look at Haroon Lorgats response to Tim Mays statement.

    Azeem Nov 13, 2010 - 1:48AM
  • So True…

    Majid Ashraf Nov 13, 2010 - 1:55AM
  • Ayesha: You are in London right? Why don’t you go to Zulqarnain and asked him who is involve in threatening his life. If you think it is the team management or PCB then ask him and then write it in this paper. Right now we don’t know anything. Zulqarnain is not saying anything conclusive right now and it is really difficult to trust him, Funny you mentioned the domestic game which happend to be in March 2009 and Zulqarnain didn’t say anything till right now. Nobody knew about that match till Zulqarnain spoke. I don’t understand why it took one and a half year for Zulqarnain to make up his mind? Speaking of 4th ODI (if you happend to see it) Zulqarnain’s running between the wicket is suspicious. He ran Wahab Riaz out and then he took almost a suicidal second run to run out Shoaib Akhter, it was Parnel’s fault that he missed the clear run out. I know we all are angry against PCB but it doesn’t mean we should start throwing stones as soon we get a chance.

    Fazeel Nov 13, 2010 - 2:52AM
  • Well said Ayesha. I very much sympathise with his plight. How many Pakistanis think like him (perhaps the majority), where they feel threatened continuously by what’s going on around them. How many would not want to leave their daily existance? The cricket team exists within the culture of Pakistan; it’s not outside it. The corruption and challenges that tempt each player are not at all surprising. Indeed it would be amazing if they were acting in some way that was not part of what has become the culture of Pakistan.

    The sports minister condemned Zulqarnain for cowardice in true false Pakistani pride fashion. I ask him why should a person want to leave his career, run away from his country and invite overwhelming international scrutiny as to his motives and circumstances unless he is under tremendous pressure. Such a decision requires immense courage because the consequences are severe. The Prophet (pbuh) also emigrated when his life was threatened.

    I believe Zulqarnain and appreciate the courageous stand he took.

    People who want to destroy his public persona have their own lies, corrupt and sinister motives. We, Pakistanis should look through their statements.

    Tilsim Nov 13, 2010 - 3:01AM
  • Couldn’t agree more. Now, for Zulqarnain’s sake, I hope he is not lying. Our so-called leaders always run away from the country. Benazir and Nawaz Sharif left when they were threatened with prison, then what, still received warmly (though I am not comparing the personalities) as saviours. We have double standards. Also, at least he did not reach the UK through a smuggling syndicate. As mentioned above, there are several EU countries building their cricket teams and would happily to welcome him, Germany included. He may not have been an ‘outstanding talent’, but yet what he did in his short stint was commendable. Unfortunately, even our electronic media is having a go at him. Why can’t they expose the sugar hoarders close to home, and whip their backside with the same vengeance they show towards Zulqarnain…pathetic!

    M.S.Shaikh Nov 13, 2010 - 3:40AM
  • Brilliant article. About time someone stood up against PCB.

    Since you wrote your article, Zulqarnain was interviewed by ICC and has given them two letters which were left in his hotel room. The contents of these letters will no doubt surface in the next few weeks and until then there will be a lot of players and PCB officials who will be having sleepless nights. It also just shows that the security which is being given to the players is a complete joke.

    The controversy surrounding Pakistan cricket is embarrasing and I am sure it will get worse before it improves. I agree with certain cricket correspondents who say that Pakistan should be suspended like Zimbabwe for next 4 to 5 years to regroup and sort out their problems. Hopefully there will still be Pakistan then, if not then some of our present young players will have the unique status of playing test cricket for Pakistan and India (or England). Pakistan will be confined to the history books.

    Iqbal Nov 13, 2010 - 3:42AM
  • Fact 1: When he created all this drama of alleged threats, he was in Dubai, not Pakistan. As a matter of fact, we know that Dubai is safer than even London.

    Fact 2: He fled to UK while his whole family is still in Pakistan and could be a lot more easier target if anyone wishes to harm them. So no one is gonna buy this lame excuse that he was threatened.

    Fact 3: While talking to BBC, Mr Haider says “…I’m taking asylum there. I said I don’t want any help from government under your immigration, like a house and money, I don’t want that. Give me permission to play cricket.”
    Conclusion: He tried to take advantage of the current match-fixing scandals surrounding Pakistan cfricket to claim asylum in UK where he can play county cricket and earn some handsome money. I dont find anything wrong in that if he had done this in his individual capacity, NOT as a player representing Pakistan at national level that too just hours before the series finale.

    silent Nov 13, 2010 - 3:42AM
  • this is the only way to get immigration to the UK btw….and Haider is doing just that ! …who isnt dying to migrate in these tough times ? play county cricket, earn more, better standard of living, peaceful life for him and his family forever.
    Canada, Holland, Ireland all have young cricket teams and would be willing to pick up talented cricketers from Pakistan and expedite their immigration papers….HUH ???

    SB Nov 13, 2010 - 3:55AM
  • The fact that zulq didn’t go to anyone in the team can be judged the minister ‘s reaction and Intikhab comments. Zulq is not a fool he knows how he was treated in England after he scored 88 and dutifully sent home and this time they are playing Adnan instead of Sarfaraz? a new comer versus an experience player. If he didn’t consult any one then that tell us more about the people running the show then Zulq.

    riaz Nov 13, 2010 - 4:26AM
  • yes he is a patriotic pakistani..who has applied for assylum in uk.
    if he was so patriotic why did he just not leave cricket and stay in pakistan. lot of talented players have chosen that route to avoid disgrace of matchfixing but he had to go to london….illegally.

    asif Nov 13, 2010 - 5:21AM
  • It would’ve been an interesting read but its not . First of all regarding corruption and taking a stand, right now the Pakistani team is under a microscope. No one in their right mind would be close to any such practices. Zulqarnain has shown UNSTABLE behavior, the first time he scored some runs and was sent back due to a broken finger , while the 3 players were taken up in match fixing/spot fixing by the media, he made a racket about “being fit ” and being sent back and something wasn’t right. That is not a sportsman that’s an opportunist. Honestly what kind of a stand is it? Runaway from your country while on duty and then say I am taking a stand. Then you give interviews to every single news channel insinuating that there are still players involved but you can’t really say. That will just ensure that Pakistan cricket is banned or removed. That will happen. Oh btw you missed out on the 500 Dirham fine he was slapped with and like a child he ran away from the game.

    Umayr Masud Nov 13, 2010 - 6:30AM
  • Ms. Ayesha Khan has probably jumped the gun. All the facts are not yet in and to portray Zulqarnain Haider as a patriot par excellence so early in the day is not on. There are some other facts that need to be kept in mind; Firstly, was Zulqarnain Haider such an important player that he could be expected to swing a match one way or the other? Secondly, one would get threats of the kind he is alleged to have got only if he had first agreed to do as told and taken at least part payment for doing so. Only then if he did not do as directed he would be threatened. Someone who was not part of a deal would not be susceptible to pressure. These and other facts need to be investigated before a final judgment is made in the matter.

    Naushad Shafkat Nov 13, 2010 - 7:03AM
  • Ayesha Khan, domestic match referenced Lahore Eagles versus National Bank of Pakistan also included Mohammed Amir. Roots of match fixing go very deep in domestic cricket, we have a tendency to blame Indian bookies whereas Pakistan has no dearth of spot fixing. Well said.

    Arifq Nov 13, 2010 - 7:41AM
  • Why is the pakistani hero seeking asylum in England? And Wahab Riaz won that match for us; not Zulqarnain.

    faraz Nov 13, 2010 - 9:25AM
  • Well, he should have gone to Netherlands… and played on their team…then everyone would have be in such awe…

    Seriously, the guy panicked made a run for it. For a career as glamorous as a cricket star, one would be quite stupid to leave it all behind and live England with a prospect of teaching children cricket.

    Saad Durrani Nov 13, 2010 - 10:12AM
  • Nice article. A lot of people have no idea what was Zulqarnain’s flight all about. Even the so-called hero IMRAN KHAN criticized him for it. Anyway, we support people like him who have the spirit to play for their country. We need patriots like him and we want other betrayers, like many in our team, hanged upside down.

    Sardar Alam Khan SWAT Nov 13, 2010 - 10:53AM
  • The whole nation is full of corrupt people. Every system in P is corrupt; PCB is just a one small institution. I think Zulqurnain Haider has done the right thing, I believe he is honest. At least he had courage to speak up against match fixing and refused to be part of it.

    Everyone knows that there is a big mafia behind this entire match fixing. What happened to Hanse Cronje and Bob Woolmer, who wanted to reveal names? These matching fixing / corruption in Cricket world are beyond ICC control. Threatening cricket players to fix the match is a crime, by law it should be dealt same as any other crime, and punish those who are involved in this dirty business.

    RP Nov 13, 2010 - 11:01AM
  • Good on him for not being corrupt… HOWEVER…

    You NEVER leave your team, you NEVER turn your back on them. He left, and we didnt have a proper freaking keeper! Let alone the mental morale shattering effect it would have had on the team. His own family is asking him to go back and face the team, the management, etc, and not run away. Dubai is a safe place, no one would have killed him.

    Plus, I hear he will give his only big ‘all-revealing’ interview. I guess we cant expect any better from someone who abandons the team, before the final, and flees leaving the team to deal with the consequences.

    This is all about British passport/asylum. He has conveniently received invitations from cricket league teams. I reckon it was a deal made by him with NOWT.

    Just wait for it.

    Adeel Ahmed Nov 13, 2010 - 11:25AM
  • NO he dont need our support in any circumstances.bcz he did wrong by not informing even his co players… wht a rubbish.. Ayesha if something unusual happens with in ur office nd u left ur ofc without evening informing a single person.. then tell me wht they will do if u try to contact them back??? nd above all it looks like a preplanned sort of thing… just take in consideration the England’s Mr……… ( i forgot the name) has given press release tht if zulqarnain said on air tht my Govt is not supporting me nd im not safe in Pakistan and Above ALL he also declare tht Pakistan is completely involved in Match fixing nd they r doing match fixing from past many years….. Now mIss Ayesha u tell IS THIS NOT A PRE-PLANNED TRAP AGAINST PAKISTANI TEAM??????? although we all are aware tht the biggest center of gambling on cricket r India nd England then South Africa… but no one cares…. we r only blamed bcz we hv rats in our groups who do such type of shameful act to hamper the image of Pakistan… so im totally not in favour of supporting Zulqarnain.
    Note: from my all comment dont assume tht im neglecting the match fixing activities in pakistani team.. i know they do but the r not the only one so y they r only blamed.

    umad Nov 13, 2010 - 11:53AM
  • Firstly, I’d like to make it clear that Mr. Zulqarnain was not ‘instrumental’ in the win against South Africa. He made all his efforts to lose the match but thank God for a well played quick fire innings played by Mr. Wahab which saved us.
    And Zulqarnain probably was not even going to be selected for the next match based on his performance.

    Abdul Haseeb Nov 13, 2010 - 12:19PM
  • What a way to get permission to live in England. I think somebody has taught him this trick. I think it will work for him. I make a promise here he wont come back to Pakistan. He will start-up with these pommes.

    WahWah Khan Nov 13, 2010 - 12:55PM
  • I feel Zulqurnain has thought this out pretty much in advance, his body language appears relaxed and in control.
    He’s doing and I feel he’s being advised to do what he thinks is best for himself. Can one really blame him for this ?
    Lets see how this plays out, its a bit early to predict an outcome. If the bookies in Dubai are giving 3:1 in Zulqurnains favour, that a good indicator.

    parvez Nov 13, 2010 - 1:20PM
  • How an ordinary and average ODI player can get fixing threat….ZULQARNAIN IS NOT a match turner in ODIs….he hit the winning runs in 4th ODI because the asking rate was run a ball…..if it had been 2 runs per ball he would have failed to win the match as he CAN NOT hit sixes AT WILL…at least with his current credentials he is only good for tests…where “drop the achor and take singles” approach can work…..not for ODIs or T20s…..

    So to keep it simple, Razzaq, Afridi, Akmal are match turners and are people more liable to receive such threats……hence this whistle blowing seems to have been orchastrated by sinister forces behind indian betting mafia, newsoftheworld type newspapers and similar people….Zulqarnain is just a pawn …he was used by aforementioned people….it seems….and as a bonus he chose to ask for asylum and settle in UK…..

    mark my words….his interview with newsoftheworld may be in the offing and might come this Sunday or next week….then all these sympathies will vanish………….do you still sympathise with yasir hameed….whisky in hand and talking nonsense with newsoftheworld….
    Remember Zulqarnain was interrogated by Dubai officials in 2006 for possession of alcohol illegally… all is not rosy and hero stuff as far as zulqarnain is concerned………..

    I request Pakistanis to view picture fromboth sides…….Best way for Zulqarnain would have been to ask ICC ACU for help …even if he did not believe in PCB……….Then why he did not get in touch with Dubai police because Dubai is safer than London or Chicago……….

    chona Nov 13, 2010 - 1:25PM
  • good article on patriotism but the person is wrong, he is a coward, if whatever he said was true, he would have run to his family, not enjoying alone in UK and crying from there to protect his family, this was the most coward act i have ever seen to run away from family, if he doesn’t believe that forces in Pakistan cant provide him adequate security, then why he asks the same forces for security for his family ? He didnt do anything in 4th odi, it was all wahab riaz’s efforts due to which we won, haider did nothing by playing 2 dot balls n scoring a single, he does not have that much strength to clear the first circle.. If you are patriotic, you will never turn your back on your team, management, country and enjoy in UK. He should get the most painful punishment once he returns to Pakistan so that the world knows what happens to such non-patriotic ppl. I am highly ashamed to him a Pakistani.

    SQ Nov 13, 2010 - 1:30PM
  • Just have to add that I hope it turns out well for him. Btw if he is such a briliant cricketer why hasn’t he been offered contracts by a county?Asylum or no asylum its his life people let him live that.

    khurram Nov 13, 2010 - 1:58PM
  • Whoaaa!!!

    Aisha, how could you draw conclusion even before that tribunal working in UK . I am surprised to see the efficiency and investigative skills of Tribune bloggers.

    Tanzeel Nov 13, 2010 - 2:13PM
  • @Tanzeel…I am with you…rightly observed…cool mate…

    WahWah Khan Nov 13, 2010 - 4:13PM
  • Wahab Riaz tried his level best to get Zulqarnain run out. I bet you if Zulqarnain had been run out Pakistan would have lost that match. Also for the geniuses that think that Dubai is the safest place on this planet try asking the family of the Hamas leader who was brutally killed by the Israelis agents in his 5 star hotel room – all recorded on CCTV.
    Look at the facts – Before the match Zulaqarnain was approached by a person who told him that him and his family would be killed if he performs well in this match. He being a true patriot won the match for us. Once the match was won then he must have gotten scared. We all know Wasim Akram’s father was kidnapped and it was made clear in the Justice Qayuum report that Wasim Akram was involved with the match fixing mafia. So obviously Zulqarnain knew that and he did what he did to get the most press exposure for himself so that no one will try to harm his family.
    For people who think he did this for asylum don’t realize that he could have taken part in the UK county cricket without applying for asylum. Also, if money was a motive he could have made a lot more money by agreeing to the demands of the match fixers.

    Maulana Diesel Nov 13, 2010 - 4:40PM
  • Ayesha
    two wrongs dont make one right. He was part of the Pakistan cricket team, representing the nation. He DITCHED the nation right in-between an international series which caused huge embarassment to everyone. Apart from sports, its also a diplomatic nightmare as Pakistan is a proud member of the ICC and hence needs to lead by example for other members countries to follow.

    If running away from corruption is being labelled ‘patriotic’, we must then feel sorry for people like Rashid Minhas & others who while staying in the system, wanted and tried to change the system (even gave their life for it). Running away (and then labelled as a patriot) from the problem isnt going to help. It will only encourage others to do the same. One has to fight the system while staying in the system, not by running away from it.

    Also, in our culture, when your family is in trouble, you run towards them, not away from them. What kind of a patriot prefers his own safety over his family’s?

    While I agree, he must be under pressure to throw the match, but he isnt a match winner by any stretch of imagination. One or two matches dont make you a match winner. People like Wasim, Waqar, miandad, Imran are real match winners and it took them ages to become match winners. Look at their stats. And then look at Zulqarnain’s. They arent even comparable.

    In my humble opinion, if the guy was unders-pressure, he shouldve gone to PCB and ICC ASCU and shouldve told them whats going on and requested to be left out of the playing eleven. Then he should have left back to Pakistan to ensure his family is safe. Then shouldve made his move for England.


    Adil Nov 13, 2010 - 6:23PM
  • @ Tanzeel—I am not drawing a conclusion but voicing an opinion for the, ahem, Opinion section. Weird to see a comment like that from someone who writes opinion herself—thought you would know the difference. As for the tribunal working in the UK, we have heard nothing as yet of the earlier investigations. I am thus also raising red flags about investigative measures outside Pakistan, including the ways of ICC. An excellent piece in the Telegraph today raises similar concerns.

    Ayesha Ijaz Khan Nov 13, 2010 - 7:24PM
  • Zulqi seems to be a traitor. I agree that a lot needs to be done to remove fixing from Pakistan cricket, but to leave the team in distress situation is really cowardly act, and I agree that it may be a planned act by our Indian bookies and English bookies to defame Pakistan. Dubai is lot safer place now. Pakistan cricket should cooperate with ICC. Sharad pawar will definitely help in bringling back the glorious days of Pakistan cricket. ICC should monitor SA, England, India, and Australia also. I believe fixing nowadays is being done via laptops, and Haider’s advice to tap the phones may be misleading. ICC should monitor the laptops of players and coaches.

    Indian Nov 13, 2010 - 9:31PM
  • I mean what is there to worry about threats? It is really shameful to bring bad name to the country because bad name harms more in future. Just say no to fixing, and we can defeat the evil forces who are bent upon destroying pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad. I want to see Pakistan showing path of truth to the world. Once you defeat bookies, half of the battle is won.

    Indian Nov 13, 2010 - 9:45PM
  • @ Ayesha, Tanzeel.
    I agree to Ayesha. Its all about not drawing conclusions based on our perceptions and assumptions. And it is a pity that we take Zulqarnain’s move as a way to gain fame or British Nationalility. Would he give away his career for things as small as that?
    And when someone say that he is not a patriot that seems funny. As it was far easy (and financially sound) an option for him to keep quite and get whatever was offered to him through match fixing or spot fixing or things like that. He quit the game, risked his personal repute, when he felt that he was in a situation he could not stand (details of situation are yet to be known, but its gravity can be imagined from Zulqarnain’s act).
    Yes, his move has damaged us well. Another scandal, another funny news about Pakistan Cricket. But here again, I refer to Ayesha’s opinion that he did not have alternatives like contacting PCB and hoping for cooperation and support.

    Sajjad Ahmed Nov 13, 2010 - 11:02PM
  • Those of you condemning Haider consider this. The team has a history of match fixing by groups of players. He doesnt know who to trust. He won you the last ODI by holding his nerve against South Africans. ( Somehow the Captain Afridi did not say a word about his performance in the speech afterwards) , Haider s passion for Pakistan and Victory was clear from his celebrations. How on earth can a player like that can turn from someone who has fought hard for a place in the National side to give it all up in 24 hours. Something serious has happened. IT made him think of his life and his loved ones. He cannot trust anyone in a team where the last skipper is banned for spot fixing. He doesnt know who to turn too. Perhaps the officials are in it too. Maybe he spoiled it for far too many peoiple. We shall never know. Had he been corrupt he would have shut up and played ball. Instead he took the harder decision and walked away. IN pakistan we have lost the distinction between right and wrong and blame the guy who stands up for the right things. May God protect you Zulqurnain!

    Aman Nov 13, 2010 - 11:55PM
  • All threat thing is stupidity. Look at his actions and his talks. He is all set to have UK immigration. Looks like he has a good advisor in UK who has studied deeply every possible question which may arise and the UK laws and regulations in this regard. He will not give a weak point. This is nothing but a mere attempt to have UK immigration.

    Majid Urrehman Nov 14, 2010 - 12:47AM
  • This a very emotive topic for most Pakistani cricket supporters. Leaving these emotions aside, the fact remains he “did abandon his team”, but then who am I to judge a young cricketer who is barely 25 and who perhaps panicked? I have not read Imran Khan’s comments but do admire his voluntary/cricketing record. Why does he not simply clean up the PCB after the investigations are over, instead of wasting his life away with…..I digress

    anticorruptioncricketleaguePakistan Nov 14, 2010 - 1:20AM
  • That “innocent cum patriotic Pakistani” who despite knowing the fact that Dubai is safer than UK and ICC head office is also situated in Dubai traveled all the way to UK, spoke about receiving threats to him and his family back home and subsequently claimed asylum but never bothered to visiting Pakistan even for a day to protect his wife and parents who were equally under threat as he mentioned.

    I don’t know whats the inside story infact nobody knows but at this point of time building opinion on the basis of assumptions would be unfair. We should wait for some more time, its same like people started baiting MQM when Imran Farooq died.

    Why we are trying to portray only positive picture of Zulqarnain ? Even if he received threats, is this the way to travel ? to leave team silently and creating embarrassment for the nation ? Why he didn’t let the series finish or report the matter to UAE Police ?

    There are many loopholes in his story but what appalls me is either we turn someone into villain or make someone hero. We don’t adopt middle of the road where we could unbiasedly talk about both sides of the picture.

    Let’s assume Zulqarnain is telling truth but don’t you think the way he has inelegantly demanded asylum and left team should be criticized ?

    Couldn’t he keep Pakistani passport and apply to clubs for county cricket ?

    Tanzeel Nov 14, 2010 - 3:49AM
  • i dont know why some of you think that UK immigration is like going to heaven, land of milk and honey? I can guarantee that Zulqarnain would have had much better life as a cricketer playing for Pakistan. He could have had an even better and luxurious life if he had become one of the match fixers. Supposedly, Mohammad Asif owns like 7 expensive “italian style” villas in Pakistan.

    I, from the bottom of my heart, believe that Zulqarnain did not do this for money or immigration. The poor kid was scared and he had no one to turn to. So he ran away. I really hope he uses this opportunity to reveal all so as to save Pakistan cricket from the many parasites that are eating it from inside.

    Maulana Diesel Nov 14, 2010 - 9:01AM
  • I people who think this is an Immigration case dont realise the seriousness of the threat or the cancer of corruption and in our cirkcet. Zulqurnain has been going to UK from the age of 13. He has played with under 15 teams. He has played club cricket, As a International player getting immigration to many countries could have been opened to him easily rather than running away like this and that too when he has just won a game abondaning his hard fought place in the side and destroying his career. Something very serious has happened and we dont know the facts as PCB normally brushes things under the carpet. Even Zulqurnain is divulging full details at the moment perhaps because of the seriousness of threats and his family being in Pakistan.

    Aman Nov 14, 2010 - 10:55AM
  • @ Aman — Totally agreed.
    @ Majid — UK Immigration isn’t that big a deal for which one would spoil n sacrifice his career. As Ayesha pointed out, he could easily join a team like Canada who would happily hire him and give him the nationality. Then, not only he would have had a well paid career in cricket but the same would have later facilitated him for settlement in UK if he was so eager for that.
    Lets not impose our assumptions on him.

    Sajjad Ahmed Nov 14, 2010 - 11:22AM
  • he was and still is a big time loser. For a fact, during the last hours of forth game i felt S.A was letting Pakistan win that game( u never see S.A dropping such high catches or missing run outs). I don’t feel if Riaz was trying to get Zulqernain out but i did feel when he went for second run he was trying to make sure that Shoaib Akhtar gets out.
    More for your info he was already being dropped from fifth game. He is the new Drama king of Pakistan.
    Just to correct you Ayesha, it was Match against England where he made his debut and 88 Runs. He is not a good wicketkeeper nor a skilled batsman. He just did it because he knew he won’t last long in Pakistan team. Totally a drama ..soon u might find him in a Bollywood movie.

    Rehan Nov 14, 2010 - 4:32PM
  • @ Rehan — He was being dropped from fifth game without Pakistan arranging / fielding another wicket keeper?

    Sajjad Ahmed Nov 14, 2010 - 5:35PM
  • @ Sajjad

    Umer Akmal had played as wicket keeper before, and i do believe he is a better batsman then Zulqarnain.

    Rehan Nov 14, 2010 - 8:33PM
  • Pakistani cricket has reached such a low point…its about time to ignore cricket just like field Hockey.

    Khurram Nov 14, 2010 - 9:48PM
  • @Rehan
    that story is a sham and you know it. as far as im concerned the Akmal family is a trioka of match fixers

    Azeem Nov 14, 2010 - 11:16PM

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