WELLINGTON: Pakistan team management says cricketer Haris Sohail was left “visibly shaken” after a ghostly encounter in a Christchurch hotel room.
Sohail fled what he believed was “a supernatural presence” which shook his bed at the Rydges Latimer hotel, taking refuge in the room of a team coach after the encounter earlier this week.
Team manager Naveed Akram Cheema said Tuesday Sohail, 26, phoned a member of the coaching staff to say he had been woken by his bed being shaken.
The coach rushed to Sohail's room and found him shaken and feverish.
Cheema said management tried to persuade Sohail the fever may have caused a nightmare, but the player was adamant his experience was supernatural.
The hotel's management says it knew of “no active ghost” on the premises.
Pakistan media reports said Sohail, an allrounder who has played nine one-dayers and three Twenty20 internationals, was so “traumatised” by the experience he has been unable to train and was forced to miss a one-day warmup match against a New Zealand President's XI.
The cricketer tweeted on Sunday, “Allah always answers your duas”. A dua is a form of Muslim prayer.
One of his followers tweeted back: “It's nice to hear that you recovered from that incident in New Zealand. May Allah protect you.
He was reportedly unable to train for two days after the incident and scored six when batting at number four Tuesday against a New Zealand President's XI.
Cheema said Sohail was examined by the team doctor after his encounter and found to be in good health.
“He's OK and he's concentrating on cricket as he should be,” he said. “He had a fever. We think it was the fever that caused it but the player still believes his bed was shaken by something and it was a supernatural something.“
A spokesman for Rydges Latimer hotel told The New Zealand Herald that there was "no active ghost"."It's hard to believe," he said. "They [Pakistan management] told me it was only a nightmare. I spoke with a team physiotherapist and other people on the team.He [Sohail] didn't come to me but they wanted him to move rooms."
"He's been sleeping in another room for about two night now."
The 4.5-star Rydges Latimer has been rebuilt since the 2011 earthquake that devastated Christchurch and claimed 185 lives.
There have been no overnight earthquakes recorded in Christchurch since the Pakistan team arrived. It is not the first time an international cricketer has complained of ghostly goings-on in the night.
In 2005 several of the Australian party complained of paranormal activity at Lumley Castle hotel, which looms over Durham county's Riverside ground.
The 600-year-old castle is rumoured to be haunted by Lily, an aristocratic lady murdered in the 14th century.
Sohail joins an elite group of international cricketers who have had ghostly experiences.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad switched rooms at London's Langham Hotel last year after a ghostly experience.
Broad told the Daily Mail newspaper he had woken in the night and “all of a sudden the taps in the bathroom came on for no reason. I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again, the taps came on. It was very weird.“
Australia allrounder Shane Watson fled to the room of teammate Brett Lee after becoming spooked in his own room at the Lumley Castle Hotel in England in 2005.