Not surprised by Pakistan`s defeat, says Haider
Karachi: Refugee wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has accused the Akmal brothers of controlling things in the Pakistan team after their 29-run defeat to India in the World Cup semifinal.
Haider said he was not surprised by Pakistan`s defeat and raised questions over the performance of the team in Mohali last night, particularly since fixing had been a part of Pakistan cricket culture.
"I am not surprised by the defeat because they are groups operating in the team and they don`t allow any player to settle down unless he succumbs to them. The same thing happened to me," Haider told a news channel from London after the match last night.
He claimed that one of the reasons for his leaving the national team was the harrassment meted out by this group particularly Kamran Akmal`s younger brother, Umar Akmal. "Umar Akmal used to say things to me after which I decided to leave the team," Haider said but promised to reveal more details about the incident later.
"No one is allowed to settle into the team unless they are supported by a group and that is what happened to me. Players are not allowed to settle into the team if they don`t go along with a group. That is the reason why Kamran is still in the team despite poor performances. No other keeper would be retained in the team if he dropped the number of catches Kamran has dropped," he added.
Haider fled the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai last November during a one-day series against South Africa for which Kamran was dropped. He has claimed that he fled after being threatened by a person who wanted him to be part of a fixing racket.
Haider fled to London and has now sought asylum from the United Kingdom government. The wicketkeeper felt his stance on fixing had been vindicated after the semi-final result. "How can you win a match when you drop three to four catches in one match," he said.
Haider also alleged that some national selectors took money from players to select them. "I would ask the Pakistan cricket board, government and ICC to look into the assets of the selectors to get to the bottom of the truth," he added.
Haider who scored 80 runs on Test debut last year in England had also played a match-winning innings against South Africa in the fourth one-day international before fleeing the team hotel ahead of the fifth and final match. The keeper is living in difficult conditions in London as the Pakistan cricket Board has also refused to release payments due to him insisting it will not make payments until Haider returns to Pakistan and faces charges of violating the players code of conduct.