Karachi, Nov 10 (ANI): Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider should not have turned up to play cricket if he was such a coward, Federal Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani has said.
"If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team," Geo News quoted Jakhrani, as saying to reporters before leaving for Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. "This is not the way for a member of the national team to behave or for even a professional cricketer to behave."
The minister also conceded that the government would not support any move from Zulqarnain to get asylum in the UK.
"We don't support his actions and believe he should have come to us if he was under threat from anyone. He didn't have confidence in the national team management or board (PCB)," Jakhrani stated.
He also said that the Sports Ministry had already written to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), asking it for a complete report on the incident.
"We dont want to interfere in the internal matters of the board but we certainly want to know why this has happened as it affects the image of the country," he said. "But no doubt this incident has disappointed us. Zulqarnain should have come to us for help. We will not support his move to get asylum in the UK."
Earlier, the wicketkeeper had quietly slipped out of the Grand Hyatt in Dubai on Monday morning and boarded a London-bound flight. The player had not even discussed his plans with any of his team officials or fellow teammates.