Was running away from match fixers: Haider

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2010, 15:26 PM IST

London: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider claimed on Tuesday he had been ordered to cooperate with match-fixers during the one-day series with South Africa that ended on Monday in Dubai.

Zulqarnain, who fled the team hotel on Monday and reached London hours later, told the Geo News channel he had been approached by a person who asked him to fix the fourth and fifth one-dayers.

“I was told to cooperate or I would face lot of problems,” Haider said from London.

Zulqarnain mysteriously left the team hotel hours before the fifth and final one-day match eventually won by South Africa who took the series 3-2.

He landed in London hours later and spent almost four hours locked in discussions with immigration authorities before finally emerging from the Heathrow airport.

Zulqarnain said he had not yet decided on whether to seek political asylum in Britain.

“I have not thought about this, I don’t even have enough money to hire a lawyer, my only concern now is the security of my family in Lahore,” he said.

The 24-year old, who has played just one test and four ODIs, insisted he did not regret his decision to walk out on the team.

“I did what I felt was right. I don’t want to go into details now,” he said. “But it is a fact that I couldn’t be part of any corruption in the series or go against my country.”

Zulqarnain said he had gone to London because he felt safe there and knew that in Britain the law protected those in the right.

Winning Runs

He scored an unbeaten 19 and hit the winning runs as Pakistan levelled the five-match series 2-2 in the fourth one-dayer on Friday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the player had not informed them he was planning to leave the hotel nor had he told them the reason for his sudden decision.

“A full inquiry will be held into the circumstances surrounding this incident,” the PCB said in a statement.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the player had not informed them he was planning to leave the hotel nor had he told them the reason for his sudden decision.

“A full inquiry will be held into the circumstances surrounding this incident,” the PCB said in a statement.

In a message on his Facebook account, Zulqarnain appeared to suggest he was worried about his personal safety after receiving threats.

“Leaving Pakistan cricket because get bad messages for lose the match in last game,” he wrote.

Pakistan officials reported Zulqarnain’s disappearance to the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security unit, as well as local police.

The PCB ‘s legal advisor, Tafazzul Rizvi, said the board took a dim view of the manner in which the player had left the team hotel.

“Right now the way we see it he has spoilt the image of Pakistan cricket,” Rizvi said. “But if he is in trouble because he didn’t cooperate with corrupt people then the board will go all out to help and protect him.”

Bureau Report