Sports: Cricket: Zulqarnain vows to project softer image of Pakistan with ZHF

Karachi: Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has launched Zulqarnain Haider Foundation, an organization to provide health and other facilities to sportsmen, and has vowed to project softer image of Pakistan in the world with his humanitarian services.

“From this platform, I want to serve all those sportsmen, who are in need of support,” Zulqarnain told reporters here at Karachi Press Club on Monday. “There was a time when I needed support but there were none to support me, however I would now like to help other sportsmen like me.”

Zulqarnain said that the organization will not only work within the boundary of Pakistan but it would also try to establish in other countries as well.

“We are contacting people and inviting them to come on board to serve deprived sportsmen in their respective countries as well. We have got some positive responses,” he added.

He further said that by working for the welfare of the sportsmen throughout the world, his Pakistan based organization would portray a positive image of the country as well.

“In the mind of the world, terrorist activities are a regular feature of Pakistan. But by working for the welfare of sportsmen throughout the world, we are also looking forward to remove this false stigma as well and project softer image of Pakistan,” he explained.

He said that ZHF was trying to convince foreign players to come to Pakistan and play charity matches for ZHF.

“However, the foreign players are reluctant to come to Pakistan on security grounds. But we would organize charity matches involving our cricketers and also people from showbiz,” he added.

Test cricketer Zulqarnain was slapped a fine of Rs 500000 by PCB for violating code of conduct. Zulqarnain flew to England midway through a series in the UAE, without informing the team management in November 2010.

Zulqarnain later also announced retirement and also sought asylum in England after allegedly receiving death threat from bookies. However, his asylum application was rejected and he later returned to Pakistan after receiving assurances from then interior minister Rehman Malik.

He later came out of retirement and started playing in domestic tournaments.