No cricketer will report fixing in future: Zulqarnain

Islamabad: No cricketer will report match or spot fixing in future due to lack of help and support from within cricketing circles and also problems created for the concerned player and his family, runaway former Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haidar has said.

The now retired wicketkeeper had stunned one and all by fleeing the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai hours before the final one-day international against South Africa last year. After reaching London, he had claimed that he had got death threats from a person who wanted him to fix matches, and subsequently sought asylum in the United Kingdom.

"The whole experience over the past few months since I walked out on the Pakistan team in the UAE has been a real eye opener for me. I`ve learnt a lot from the experience. The hardest thing for me to grasp is that problems are created for you and family if you speak out against those who are corrupt. You don`t get the help and support from within cricketing circles that one would expect and that is why a lot of cricketers are turning a blind eye to corruption in cricket – No player will report fixing in future," quoted Zulqarnain, as saying.

"My family has had to endure a lot of problems just because I spoke out against corruption. Every time I spoke out against fixing in cricket, there would be threatening calls made to my family in Pakistan and that meant that I couldn`t provide the PCB or ICC with the full information that I wanted to give them," he added.

Zulqarnain, who is currently living in the United Kingdom on a temporary visa, has voluntarily withdrawn his application for asylum in Britain after the Pakistan government assured him and his family of “the highest level of security” in the country, and will return to Islamabad on April 25.

“I received assurances from [Interior Minister] Rehman Malik and also from the Pakistan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, regarding my safety on my return to Pakistan. They gave me their solemn word that my family and I would be safe in Pakistan and I would like to convey my gratitude to both of them and the Government of Pakistan for its assurances to me and my family,” he said.

Zulqarnain also confirmed that he had spoken to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt since arriving on the decision to return to Pakistan.

"I had a brief conversation with Ijaz Butt after I made the decision to return to Pakistan, but it was just a general conversation and no specific discussions were held," he said.

Zulqarnain remains adamant regarding the stance he took on alleged corruption last year, and added that he feels that "Pakistan cricket and indeed world cricket needs to change for the better."

“I will sit down with the authorities and give them my opinions on what can be done to change Pakistan cricket regarding fixing. Until such times as firm action is taken in Pakistan cricket by those in power, these "bad things" will continue to happen. On a wider scale, it is up to the ICC to catch those corrupt elements in the game - it falls under the domain of those running the game of cricket to catch those people out," he said.


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