Pakistan news November 10, 2010

PCB suspends Haider's stipend contract

ESPNcricinfo staff

The PCB has suspended the stipend contract of runaway wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, the first official sign of its displeasure with the player since his bizarre departure from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai ahead of the fifth one-dayer against South Africa.

Though board officials and advisors have expressed surprise and bemusement over Haider's actions, they have stopped short of condemning him. Until now the emphasis has been on finding out exactly what happened and getting in touch with Haider.

Reports on Wednesday that the board was considering imposing a life-ban on Haider and that the touring management was aware that he had gone to Dubai airport before he flew to London on Monday were both denied by the board.

"PCB has suspended the stipend contract of Mr. Zulqarnain Haider for violating terms and conditions of the same," a board statement said. "A fact-finding committee has been formulated to establish the facts surrounding the incident of Mr. Haider's disappearance from the team hotel. The committee includes Mr. Subhan Ahmad (PCB), Mr. Intikhab Alam (Manager Pakistan Team) and Maj. Khawaja Najam (Security Manger Pakistan Team). The Committee will meet soon."

The board confirmed that their efforts to contact Haider continue to remain unsuccessful; so far Haider has spoken publicly to only one Pakistan TV channel.

The stipend contract is a notch below the central contracts the board hands out every year to a pool of players in and around the national squad. Generally, stipend contracts, worth Rs. 50,000 per month, are offered to younger players on the fringes of national selection.

Haider fled from Dubai without informing the team and resurfaced in London on Monday. He later confirmed later that he received threats from unidentified people following his team's one-wicket win in the fourth ODI against South Africa and was told to get in line for the fifth match. As a result of the threats Haider - who is seeking some sort of protection in the UK - has announced his retirement from cricket. The ICC said that Haider had erred in not informing the ACSU about the approach, but was ready to help the player if he was willing to engage with them.