Majid Haq sets sights on Scotland return

Majid Haq has reached settlement with Cricket Scotland. Picture: SNS
Majid Haq has reached settlement with Cricket Scotland. Picture: SNS
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Defiant Majid Haq last night set his sights on rekindling his international career after reaching a settlement in his long-running dispute with Cricket Scotland.

The country’s leading cap holder and record wicket-taker was dropped from the national set-up after being sent home from last year’s World Cup in Australia for posting a race-related tweet.

His Cricket Scotland contract was not renewed when it expired later in the year and his top-flight career looked to be over.

However, after confirming an agreement had finally been reached with the governing body, the 33-year-old yesterday insisted he can resurrect his Scotland career. He said: “Playing for Scotland has always meant everything to me and so the last 18 months have been really tough. But I believe I still have a lot to offer and, as a spin bowler, my best days could still be ahead of me.

“There are some important qualifying tournaments coming up and I know I could play a part in helping Scotland reach the big global tournaments.

“I’m relieved that things have been settled and I can start looking forward again.”

Haq’s career appeared to be in tatters in March 2015 when, following his omission from a fixture against Sri Lanka, he posted a tweet saying: “always tougher when you’re in the minority! #colour #race”

In a statement released by lawyer Aamer Anwar yesterday, Haq reiterated that view but claimed the tweet was not prompted only by his omission from the team.

The statement said: “The last year has seen many ups and downs, both professionally and personally. I will always cherish representing the country of my birth at the World Cup.

“Becoming Scotland’s most capped player and record wicket taker were great moments.

“Sadly, these positives were overshadowed by being sent home from the World Cup. Being sent home for a tweet was one of the worst things myself and my family have had to endure. I said something I felt at the time and still feel that ‘it’s tougher being in the minority’.

“I understand that expressing my feelings on social media in the manner that I did (and at the time that I did) resulted in Cricket Scotland taking the view that my tweet solely related to my non-selection (and my views on the underlying reason for this).

“However, my non-selection was the culmination of a series of events which led me to form this view, which I still hold.

“I hope that in the future such matters will be dealt with differently and after time has been taken to fully consider and take into account all of the circumstances.

“I am pleased to be able to announce that I have now reached an agreement with Cricket Scotland around the termination of my contract which allows me to move on with my ambitions to play cricket at the highest level.

“I’d like to take this chance to thank my family and close friends for their support, my teammates who messaged me words of support & my two lawyers Aamer Anwar and Lorna Davis for their superb work.”

Haq has captained Clydesdale to back-to-back Western Premier titles and a Scottish Cup in the last two seasons, has 210 caps and has claimed a Scottish record of 258 wickets. He has also scored 2,143 international runs including a century and seven half-centuries.