Karachi:After being left embarrassed by Zulqarnain Haider's escapades on Facebook, a wary Pakistan Cricket Board has directed all members of the national team to avoid using social networking sites.
Not only members of the national team but all other centrally contracted players with the board have been told to avoid using Facebook or Twitter.
Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam confirmed the players were told not to use social network sites as part of clauses in their contracts.
"There is a clause in their contracts which states clearly they can't use these social network sites or discuss cricket issues while under contract. It is for their own good so that they don't get entangled into controversies," the former Test captain added.
He said that the board wanted the players to simply concentrate on cricket and do well for Pakistan as the World Cup was also just around the corner.
He said the players had taken the new directives seriously and were avoiding using social networking sites.
The ban is said to be the direct result of the recent controversy involving Haider, who on the eve of the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa in Dubai, fled the team hotel and landed in London seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.
Haider used his facebook and MSN accounts to make announcements about his decision to leave the team claiming he and his family were under threat from bookmakers who wanted him to fix matches in the one-day series against South Africa.
Haider also used his facebook page to say that he would expose people in Pakistan cricket who were involved in corruption, something he has not done as yet.
Alam said the board had reports that people had even floated fake pages of some players on these sites.
Tafazzul Rizvi, the legal advisor for the board, said PCB was looking into the incidents of unknown people putting up fake account of players and misleading fans.
"We are looking into possibility of some legal action such offenders," he added.