PCB wants Zulqarnain Haider to attend counselling sessions with sports psychologist

Zulqarnain Haider hit the headlines in 2010 when he fled from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai Getty Images

Lahore: Sep 26, 2012

Instead of taking disciplinary action against wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, the PCB has asked the controversial cricketer to attend special counselling sessions with a sports psychologist.

A senior official of the board confirmed to PTI that Zulqarnain had been told to remain in touch with Dr Maqbool Babri, sports psychologist of the board.

“He has been told to attend the special counselling sessions with Dr Babri as we now believe that he requires counselling and help as his recent actions have not been logical or sensible for him or his career,” the official said.

Haider had last month posted on his facebook status that Kamran Akmal had been selected in the Pakistan team without obtaining any clearance from the ICC.

The controversial keeper also indirectly accused Kamran, now a member of the Pakistan squad in the ICC World Twenty20, of corruption and threatened to reveal more names if the board didn’t show the clearance for Kamran.

Haider hit the headlines in 2010 when he fled from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai and sought asylum in London, claiming his life was under threat from bookmakers who wanted him to fix matches in the series against South Africa.

He returned to Pakistan in early 2011 and was pardoned by the board, which only fined him 500,000 rupees and allowed him to resume playing domestic cricket.

“We in a way feel sad watching his actions. We had issued him a notice to provide us any substantial evidence to back up the allegations he made on his facebook account but he didn’t respond to the notice,” the official said.

He said the board had than decided that before proceeding with any disciplinary action against Haider, it should first have him attend sessions with the psychologist as he clearly required help.

Dr Babri has also been hired by the board to work with other players with a history of problems in the recent past, including banned left-arm pacer, Mohammad Aamer.