PCB committee finally makes contact with Zulqarnain

Karachi: After remaining elusive for days, the three-member fact-finding committee of PCB has finally made contact with run-away Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who deserted his team midway through an ODI series in in Dubai following death threats from bookies.

Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said that the committee members had spoken to Zulqarnain on phone from Dubai and had a long conversation with him.

“Apparently, Intikhab Alam, who is also manager of the team, was anxious to have a chat with Zulqarnain and made contact with him and then the other members of the committee also spoke to him,” one source said.

Incidentally, all the committee members are part of the Pakistan team, which is presently in the UAE to play a series against South Africa.

Zulqarnain created a flutter in world cricket when he ran away from the team hotel without informing anyone hours before the fifth and final ODI against South Africa at Dubai and resurfaced in London.

After landing in London, the 24-year-old wicketkeeper has applied for a temporary asylum in UK, claiming that he had got death threats from alleged book after refusing to fix the last two ODIs against South Africa.

The fact-finding committee has to submit its report on the whole episode to the PCB after Eid holidays and Intikhab told the media in Dubai that they were preparing it.

Earlier, PCB chairman had also spoken to Zulqarnain on telephone while the wicketkeeper was also called for a meeting by the Pakistan High Commissioner in London.

After talking to both, Zulqarnain had said that they had assured him co-operation and assistance.

But apparently some elements in the PCB and national team are not ready to forgive the stumper for his hasty decision of ditching the team and causing embarrassment to Pakistan cricket.

PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi has gone out of his way to insist that board chairman Ijaz Butt had assured Zulqarnain no co-operation.

“A decision on Zulqarnain will come after the PCB chairman returns from China where he has gone on a personal visit,” a source in the board added.