Cricket World Cup: Majid Haq expulsion ‘obvious’

Majid Haq arrives back at Glasgow airport yesterday. Picture: Jeff Holmes

Majid Haq arrives back at Glasgow airport yesterday. Picture: Jeff Holmes

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SCOTLAND head coach Grant Bradburn says sending their most-capped player home from the Cricket World Cup was the “obvious” thing to do.

Majid Haq was suspended from the tournament for a tweet which suggested the decision to drop him from the team for the Pool A defeat by Sri Lanka was based on his race. He arrived back in Glasgow yesterday.

Haq has more than 200 caps for Scotland and was the only member of the current squad to have appeared in a previous World Cup, in the West Indies in 2007. He’s also the country’s leading wicket-taker.

Speaking to QTV Sports in Tasmania, Bradburn said the decision to suspend the 32-year-old off-spinner was relatively straightforward.

“It wasn’t difficult, not really. It became obvious what we needed to do,” he said. “It’s not the situation we’d have liked to have had to deal with, particularly in a tournament like this. No-one would want to have to deal with something like this when we’re in the midst of playing some of the best teams in the world.

“But I was very impressed with the way Cricket Scotland have handled the situation swiftly and it enables us to focus on an exciting opportunity to play against Australia on Saturday.”

Bradburn says he’s been trying to instil a sense of personal responsibility in his side and Haq’s outburst on social media, which has since been deleted, was against the code of conduct the players sign up to.

Bradburn, who also admitted he’d never had to deal with anything like it in his career in New Zealand, said: “I had the cricket conversations with Majid, as I do with all of the players, and as a coach you get used to having hard conversations. We have had conversations daily and that’s my job, to have those clear conversations with players, particularly with those players who aren’t playing and they are not easy to have. You’ve just got to have them.

“You’ve got to give them the direct clarity, you’ve got to give them honesty and be compassionate for them as people and players.

“I take pride and care over that part of my coaching. If players weren’t disappointed that would be an issue for me. I would expect them to be disappointed not to be playing but unfortunately Majid has chosen a way to react which contravenes the values of the side and the values of his employer.”

Scotland finish their tournament tomorrow against Australia in what is effectively a dead rubber, with the hosts having qualified and Scotland already knocked out after five straight defeats.

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