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Updated: December 9, 2012 02:57 IST

Pakistan cricketer drinks soap solution, out of danger

Ashwin Achal
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The captain of the Pakistan blind cricket team Zeeshan Abbasi, who was admitted to a local hospital after he reportedly drank soap solution that he mistook for water while having breakfast on Saturday, seen with team manager Bilal Safi (standing beind). Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy
The captain of the Pakistan blind cricket team Zeeshan Abbasi, who was admitted to a local hospital after he reportedly drank soap solution that he mistook for water while having breakfast on Saturday, seen with team manager Bilal Safi (standing beind). Photo: V Sreenivasa Murthy

He is reported to be normal after his discharge from hospital

Captain of the Pakistan cricket team for the blind Zeeshan Abbasi, 30, was admitted to the M.S. Ramaiah Hospital here on Saturday morning after he consumed ‘diluted soap solution’ kept on the breakfast table mistaking it for drinking water.

The partially blind cricketer was discharged in the evening after an endoscopy showed he was normal.

The Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC), in a release, said it accepted the apology tendered by Moevenpick Hotel and Spa, where the team is staying. “The administration of PBCC, in the better interest of cricket and to fasten the relationship between the two countries, accepted the apology of the hotel administration.” Pakistani manager Bilal Satti said the team considered that the “matter is resolved.”

Earlier, a controversy arose after a statement by the team management that Mr. Abbasi was “served cleaning acid,” sparked apprehensions that the team, which had thumped India by eight wickets the previous day, was targeted by miscreants.

Speaking to journalists, Mr. Satti had said: “We arrived at 7 a.m. for breakfast in the hotel – these water bottles were the brand we have been using throughout our visit. It appears that there was some cleaning acid in the bottle. It so happened that the captain drank it. He spat out the liquid when he realised that it was not water.”

Due to play against Bangladesh in a league match on Saturday as part of the ongoing T20 World Cup for the Blind, Mr. Abbasi proceeded to the venue with the rest of the team. However, he complained of soreness in the throat and the team management rushed him to hospital.

Naresh Shetty, president of the hospital, said the liquid “was not acid” as it was initially feared by the team management. The hospital in a statement said the solution could be either diluted phenyl or soapwater.

The management apologised for the incident and said the liquid was soap detergent meant to clean windowpanes. The hotel said the diluted soap solution bottle was erroneously left on the table by the banquet team member and his services, along with that of his supervisor, were terminated.

Mr. Abbasi said his health was fine and he was looking forward to leading Pakistan in its remaining matches.

I am a Pakistani and I don't think Indians as a cricket loving nation
would do any harm to an almost blind player; however, as we South Asians
typical are i.e. careless, may have shown negligence and this happened.
I am happy it didn't become a major issue and PCB accepted the apology
from hotel management.

from:  Sohail
Posted on: Dec 9, 2012 at 12:50 IST

So the culprit was harmless soap water all the while when the Pakistani manager was claiming it to be acid. Why am I not the least bit surprised?

from:  Kartz
Posted on: Dec 9, 2012 at 08:55 IST

This is undoubtedly upsetting, but the comments posted earlier have certainly
summed up the sentiments really well. I won't be lying if I say that if this was the
other way around, the world would have made an issue out of it, bashing Pakistan's
reputation continuously so a part of me initially wanted this blown out of proportion.
But after reading the comments, it is refreshing to know people are actually
apologetic and not showing illogical enmity. So, thank you.

from:  Khan
Posted on: Dec 9, 2012 at 08:40 IST

As someone from Pakistan, I can tell you that most of us regard it just an accident. The kind that happen in 3rd world countries all the time. This could just have easily happened in Pakistan as well and for the same reasons: lack of oversight and accountability

from:  AKhan
Posted on: Dec 9, 2012 at 00:41 IST

We are not sure yet whether the phenyl bottle was deliberately kept or it was placed there by mistake. This needs to be ascertained by an investigation -- maybe there could be a CCTV footage.
1. If this was deliberately kept, the persons responsible must be arrested(not simply suspended) and it will be such a shame that someone could target a visually disabled person.
2. If the bottle was kept unintentionally, then it would be a case of negligence on part of the person who kept it and also on part of the Pakistan team manager who is supposed to take care of the disabled cricketer's safety.
-> Only an inquiry can bring out the truth and it is important that the officials conduct a proper investigation because the stakes are high.

from:  Yashwanth P
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 21:41 IST

Did RAW keep it ? General Manager should be arrrested

from:  Ramesh Manghirmalani
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 15:48 IST

This is a very embarassing situation for India and its reputation as a host. It is very dignified of the Pakistani team to not have made it as a large issue, though it is actually so. Service suspension for negligence (not termination though) of duty is recommended. However, if there was an ill intent, then termination and strict lawful action is very essential against the persons concerned for putting India is a very bad light.

from:  Vinod Pillai
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 15:28 IST

Folks, it is a disgrace that he was served with a water that was contaminated with acid and
no one knew what anyone was doing in that hotel. This not only puts India on a bad spotlight
but gives credence to our paranoid neighbour that India is plotting all the time. Shame on
India and I hope this guy recovers fully. The citizen of Bangalore and Indian official who are
hosting this team from Pakistan owes an apology!

from:  Raman
Posted on: Dec 8, 2012 at 14:14 IST
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