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Mysterious death of Pak cricketer

Karachi: A teenaged female cricketer, who had accused the management of Multan Cricket Club of sexual harassment, has died under mysterious circumstances in her hometown, as her relatives claimed she committed suicide.

The father of Haleema Rafique told reporters in Multan on Tuesday that he held the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) responsible for his daughter's death.

“The board didn’t listen to her pleadings against some MCC officials, who sexually harassed female cricketers, and she grew depressed specially after one of the accused, Maulvi Sultan Alam, filed damages for Rs 20 million against her,” the father Muhammad Rafique said.

Haleema and four other girls had, in June 2013, accused Maulvi Sultan and some other officials of the MCC of sexually harassing them during camp training.

The PCB women’s wing subsequently held a hurried inquiry and dismissed the serious charges. Many felt that the PCB women’s wing should have held a more detailed inquiry instead of just two days of hearings in Lahore.

Haleema, who was found dead in her room, was said to be a talented player from Multan region. Relatives added that the 17-year-old drank acid during her fast, which led to her death.

A PCB official said that when the inquiry was held, Haleema didn’t appear before the committee but three other girls who had made the accusations appeared. However, they denied charges of sexual harassment or assault.

The inquiry committee had recommended that all the cricketers should be banned from playing all forms of cricket for six months with effect from October 23, 2013.