Karachi: Pakistan's runaway wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has accused batsman Umar Akmal of harassment and mental torture.
A well-informed source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that Zulqarnain, in his reply to the Board, has claimed that one of the reasons for his decision to abruptly leave the team hotel without informing the management last year in November in Dubai was because he was under severe mental stress.
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"Although he has not clearly explained the reasons for his leaving the team hotel and flying off to London but he has listed the alleged harassment by Umar Akmal and some other players as upsetting him a lot," the source said.
"In his reply to the PCB notice, Zulqarnain has mostly repeated the same things he has been saying all along but two significant things he has said - one is about the harassment he faced at the hands of Umar and secondly that he didn't have trust and confidence in the team management and that is why he didn't inform them about the threats he got," the source added.
The source also said that Zulqarnain had listed incidents where Umar and some other players mentally harassed him from time to time, even in the dressing room and in net sessions.
Zulqarnain had fled the team hotel last November during the ODI series against South Africa in Dubai. He landed up in London and sought asylum, claiming he had been threatened by an unknown person in Dubai who wanted him to fix a match, in which Zulqarnain was the only keeper in the side.
Zulqarnain returned home in late April after meeting Pakistan's interior minister, Rehman Malik, who assured him of full safety and security in Pakistan.
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"He has written that in a bid to pressurise him and cause him mental stress the team management even started to have Umar Akmal keep wickets in the nets to send him a message he was not a certain selection in the team," the source said.
"The keeper has said that the treatment he faced at the hands of Umar was basically linked to the fact that he had replaced Umar's elder brother Kamran Akmal as keeper in the team and for some other inexplicable reasons."
The source said that privately the PCB was not satisfied with Zulqarnain's reply to their notice as he had mentioned no names as far as the spot-fixing or threats were concerned and had neither stated clearly who had threatened him and what specifically happened between him and his alleged stalker.
The PCB has formed a three-member disciplinary committee to hear out Zulqarnain's case and take a decision on whether he can play domestic cricket and for Pakistan again.