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Sunday, May 15, 2011


Pakistan’s Zulqarnain Haider Aspiring to play County Cricket for Lashings

Pakistan’s renegade wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider, is aspiring to play county cricket for the Lashings cricket club in future after getting clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Talking to newsmen, Haider said, “I am in talks with the club in England and if given chance, I may return, this time with my family to London."
Meanwhile the English country is also keen to include Haider in their outfit, while talking to the media from London, the Chairman of Lashings, David Folb and the club’s media manager Fred Atkins said, “Yes, we are still interested if he plays for us, but he would need clearance from both the ECB and the PCB to play for Lashings. If he can get that we would be delighted to have him."
This week, Haider had revoked his retirement from International cricket and made himself available for selection in the national team. However, playing in the national team is easier said than done, because the PCB has made it very clear that the former wicketkeeper will have to present himself in front of a PCB integrity committee and answer some tough questions regarding his decision to dessert the national team in the middle of a series.
According to a PCB official, after facing the integrity committee, Haider will be given an opportunity to meet the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and it is only then that he will be in a position to seriously start thinking of playing again for Pakistan.
Keeping this in mind, Haider has perhaps thought it best to try his luck in the English county which expressed interest in him when he reached London last year.
Last month, after living in self-exile for nearly five-months, the lanky wicketkeeper returned to Pakistan after meeting the interior minister of Pakistan, Rehman Malik, in London.
According to sources, the minister promised the player top notch security on his return to Pakistan.
After reaching his homeland on 25 April, 2011, Haider wanted to meet Ijaz Butt, however, no such meeting has been arranged between the two so far.
The 25-year-old Haider came under fire when he disappeared from the team hotel just before the last match of a One-Day series between Pakistan and South Africa in the United Arab Emirates in November, 2010.
He resurfaced later in the United Kingdom and revealed that he had received death threats from bookies who wanted him to lose the fourth and fifth match of the series. He was left with no option but to make a run for his life.
In the press conference, he also announced his retirement from International cricket and insisted that he wanted to spend the rest of his life in England.
Zulqarnain had also applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, but he revoked his application on his return to Pakistan.
As of now, he has been banned by the PCB from representing Pakistan in any format of the game. According to the board, the wicketkeeper is guilty of committing major disciplinary offenses.
If Haider wants to resume his cricket career, he needs to seek clearance from the PCB as soon as possible.  
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