Zulqarnain launches tirade against Akmal brothers following Pak’s WC semi-final loss

April 1st, 2011 - 2:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, April 1(ANI): Runaway former Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haidar has accused the Akmal brothers of controlling things in the Pakistan team, and blamed them for Pakistan’s 29-run defeat against India in the 2011 World Cup semi-final.

Zulqarnain said he was not surprised by Pakistan’s defeat in the crucial match, and raised questions over the performance of the team in Mohali on Wednesday, particularly since last year’s spot-fixing scandal raised serious doubts about the integrity of Pakistani players.

“I am not surprised by the defeat because there are groups operating in the team, and they don’t allow any player to settle down unless he succumbs to them. The same thing happened to me,” the Daily Times quoted Zulqarnain, as telling a news channel from London.

The now retired wicketkeeper had stunned one and all by fleeing the team hotel in Dubai hours before the final one-day international against South Africa last year. After reaching London, he had claimed that he had got death threats from a person who wanted him to fix matches, and subsequently sought asylum in the UK.

Zulqarnain claimed that the harassment meted out by this group, particularly Umar Akmal, was one of the reasons behind his decision to leave the national team.

“Umar Akmal used to say things to me after which I decided to leave the team,” he said, promising to reveal more details about the incident later on.

Kamran’s repeated follies behind the stumps- including some vital dropped catches- have cost Pakistan a lot during the mega event. Not only his keeping against India in the semi-final was untidy, he scored just 19 runs opening the Pakistan innings.

“No one is allowed to settle into the team unless they are supported by a group and that is what happened to me. Players are not allowed to settle into the team if they don’t go along with a group. That is the reason why Kamran is still in the team despite poor performances. No other keeper would be retained in the team if he dropped the number of catches Kamran has dropped,” Zulqarnain said.

The now retired wicketkeeper felt that his stance on fixing had been vindicated after the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final result. “How can you win a match when you drop three to four catches in one match?” he questioned.

Zulqarnain also alleged that some national selectors had taken money from players to select them in the national squad.

“I would ask the Pakistan Cricket Board, government and ICC to look into the assets of the selectors to get to the bottom of the truth,” he added. (ANI)

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