The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended former fast bowler and one of its national-level coaches Nadeem Iqbal, pending an inquiry into alleged sexual harassment charges. Nadeem Iqbal was a coach in the Southern Punjab region, and the complaint, which was brought to the PCB’s attention last week, is connected to a sexual harassment claim by a female cricketer. An ongoing police inquiry is also underway in this case.
Nadeem Iqbal has been suspended by the PCB over a pending charge of sexual harassment 👇 https://t.co/TsUCdGsHTB— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 18, 2022
The victim alleged in a police complaint that she attended the PCB women’s tryouts in Multan a few years ago when Nadeem was one of the coaches. She leveled allegations against the former cricketer in a video message saying, “He got close to me with promises of selecting me for the women’s team and also getting me employment on the board. But over time he kept on sexually molesting me and also involved his friends. He also had me videotaped and later kept on blackmailing me.”
A PCB official acknowledged that an investigation had been launched into the situation to see if Nadeem had broken any of the board’s rules of service. The PCB official said, “Obviously we can’t carry out any criminal investigation that is for the police to do but our inquiry will find out if he was in breach of his terms of the contract with us.”
This is not the first such allegation in Pakistan Cricket. Earlier, officials of the private Multan Cricket Club were accused of sexual harassment by five young female players in 2014. Officials of a well-known cricket club linked with the district association sought sexual favors in exchange for selection in the squad, the cricketers had informed the media. Yasir Shah, Pakistan’s Test leg-spinner, was also accused of assisting a friend in sexually abusing a young girl and then threatening her last year. The complainant eventually withdrew the accusations against Yasir, but a case against his companion is still underway in court.
Nadeem Iqbal comes from the same region as Waqar Younis, with whom he played domestic cricket in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Few thought Iqbal had a brighter future than Waqar at one point in time. However, he never made it to the international cricket stage. In March 2004, Iqbal announced his retirement from professional cricket. He took 258 wickets in 80 first-class matches and 65 wickets in 49 List A matches throughout his first-class career. Previous PCB management selected Iqbal as a coach for the Southern Punjab zone. Despite being on the board’s payroll, Nadeem Iqbal had not participated in any of the PCB’s several coaching programs in the previous two years.