Sydney, Nov.15: Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider is getting a raw deal, according to noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck.
Roebuck feels that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) are paying more attention to his character and to motivations than to his claims that bookies had threatened him with dire consequences if he did not fix matches that they had targetted.
"Cricket cannot afford to be complacent. Admittedly, the keeper was foolish to outline his reasons for fleeing on Facebook. However, a 24-year-old cricketer does not lightly risk his career, especially after waiting for years to get his chance," says Roebuck in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Haider has also been criticized for not reporting it to the team management or his board. Most of the management was unfavourably mentioned in the Khayyam report, and the rest are weak or compromised. And he is supposed to trust them? No one in their right mind reports anything to the PCB or not until Ijaz Butt has been removed from office," he adds.
"Far from condemning Haider as a hothead and attention seeker, cricket ought to investigate the matches in question, the fourth and fifth one-dayers played in Dubai," Roebuck opines.
"History suggests he should be taken seriously," Roebuck concludes.