Australia: Majid Haq, Scotland’s leading wicket-taker in international cricket and most capped player, has been sent home from the World Cup for breaking the team’s code of conduct.
Cricket Scotland issued a brief statement after the 148-run loss to Sri Lanka in Hobart on Wednesday, saying the 32-year-old Haq was sent home, adding: “No further statement will be issued until internal processes have been completed.”
British media reported Haq implied on Twitter that his axing from the starting lineup for the Sri Lanka match was racially motivated. The tweet was deleted.
Scotland, one of four Associate teams which qualified for the World Cup, has lost all five pool matches in the tournament, and has one remaining this weekend against four-time champion and co-host Australia.
Haq took three wickets in Scotland’s first four matches, and was dropped after returning 0-49 and scoring one run in the defeat to Bangladesh at Nelson, New Zealand on March 5. He’d scored 31 and took 1-45 in the narrow, one-wicket loss to Afghanistan on Feb. 26. That was a match between two teams which had never won a World Cup match.
His replacement against Sri Lanka, Michael Leask, conceded 0-63 from seven overs, and scored two runs.During a loss to England on Feb. 23, offspinner Haq dismissed opener Moeen Ali to claim a record 257th wicket for Scotland. He held the Scottish record for most international caps before the tournament—and has since raised it to 209 matches—and was the only squad member with previous World Cup experience.
He was presented with a trophy for becoming lead wicket-taker, and coach Grant Bradburn said in a statement: “It is a huge honor and fantastic achievement for Majid, who now becomes Scotland’s leading wicket-taker of all time. As such a loyal servant to Scotland Cricket, it is especially appropriate for Majid to achieve this milestone during our World Cup campaign.”
Haq was born in Paisley, Scotland, and made his first-class debut in 2004.