Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Zulqarnain Haider flees Pakistan - what does it tell us?

The news that Pakistan wicket-keeper, Zulqarnain Haider, has fled his team hotel in Dubai for a hotel in Heathrow, where he has subsequently claimed ayslum, might raise eyebrows but the suggestion of ongoing spot- or match-fixing surrounding the Pakistan team does not.

Neither was the suggestion that Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and former skipper Salman Butt had conspired to deliver no-balls on the say-so of sports 'fixer' Mazhar Majeed, Butt's agent - although it appears that no-one made any financial gain through that particular episode.

Haider said he had received death threats for not following orders from match-fixers in a recent ODI, but the fact that he felt he had flee the team hotel in Dubai raises as many questions as it answers.

Did Haider feel in danger in the hotel? Surrounded by fellow players and PCB officials? Certainly the fall-out from the spot-fixing affiar seemed to sugges that younger, more naive members of the team were leaned on by the higher-ups.

Speaking to two asylum-seekers in the Sefton Park third eleven this year - one from Pakistan and one from Afghanistan - I got the this kind of patriarchal system is rife in sport. If you don't do what you're told - on the cricket pitch or off - you simply don't play again.

Looking at how quickly quality players have fallen out of favour in Pakistan in the past, and how the likes of Abdur Razzaq and Shoaib Akhtar have been bounceed in and out of the side for years, it's easy to imagine that such rigid hierarchical systems are open to abuse, where a colt player is ordered tho throw away his wicket or bowl a no-ball at an agreed time.

But, really, all of this is conjecture. At least until Haider starts talking, if he ever does.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Write something crickety: