Zulqarnain Haider denied Test cap on debut?

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board and the team management in England have landed themselves in another controversy after it was revealed that wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider was not given the ceremonial Test cap when he made his debut against England at Edgbaston.

Well placed sources told reporters that the team management had neither given the Pakistan Test cap to Zulqarnain nor bothered to hold the usual ceremony whenever a player makes his debut.

Sources said for inexplicable reasons manager Yawar Saeed told Zulqarnain he would be given the cap later on.

Interestingly, during the same tour and in the series, the management awarded Test caps to Umar Amin, Azhar Ali and Wahab Riaz and also held the traditional cap handing over ceremony for them when they made their debuts.

“It is hard to understand why the Test cap was not given to Zulqarnain when the same was done for the other players who made their debuts in England on this tour. This incident is sending out all the wrong messages for cricket followers and other players,” former Test captain Aamir Sohail said.

Interestingly there is already a cloud over the way the team management bundled off Zulqarnain to Pakistan insisting doctors had advised him three to four weeks rest after he suffered a hairline fracture in his little finger during the second Test.

Zulqarnain was sent back after an impressive debut at Edgbaston although he kept insisting he could play the Test even with the fractured little finger by wearing a protective splint over it.

Sources said that Zulqarnain had pleaded with the team management to not send him home to Pakistan.

Similarly even when he asked for his Test cap he was told that it would be given to him when it was available leaving him disappointed.

“One former England great asked Zulqarnain if he could gift him his Test cap and the wicketkeeper told him he couldn’t do this since he himself was waiting for his cap,” the source added.

PTI