Zulqarnain cried, pleaded for mercy in disciplinary hearing

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2011, 13:17 PM IST

Lahore: Zulqarnain Haider created quite a flutter by defying the Pakistan Cricket Board with his runaway act last year but the wicketkeeper broke down in tears and pleaded for mercy in the recent disciplinary hearing to escape with a light fine.

The Pakistan Cricket Board`s disciplinary committee wanted to impose a heavier fine than half a million rupees on Zulqarnain.

Sources close to the disciplinary committee, responding to the criticism on the gaping difference in the fines imposed on former one-day captain Shahid Afridi (Rs 4.5 million) and Zulqarnain, explained the reason for this.

"The committee was intent on imposing a fine of around two to Rs 2.5 million on Zulqarnain and banning him for a year as they were not happy with his conduct in fleeing from the team hotel last November and going to London to seek asylum on grounds that he was under threat from a bookmaker who wanted him to fix matches of the one-day series against South Africa," a source said.

"What happened was that when Zulqarnain turned up before the disciplinary committee he cried and while admitting his guilt, pleaded for mercy. His contention was that he should be forgiven as his mother had passed away while his father was a cancer patient and needed help all the time," the source said.

The source disclosed that when Zulqarnain cried before the committee and pleaded for mercy they decided to impose the half a million rupees fine.

"The biggest problem was that the money the cricket board owes to Zulqarnain is not more than 1.2 million rupees and since last September he has already been out of cricket. Even if we had recommended a heavy fine from where would the board have recovered the money from him and we had to take into consideration his father`s illness and family issues," the source explained.

He said this was the primary reason for the disciplinary committee going soft on Zulqarnain despite his serious breach of the code of conduct.

Another source stated that the heavy fine on Afridi was imposed as he breached the code while being captain of the national team and at his hearing made it clear he was ready to accept any punishment.

"Afridi didn`t offer any apology but did accept he had breached the code of conduct," the source stated.

PTI