Haider`s behaviour was childish: Afridi

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2010, 21:42 PM IST

Karachi: Runaway Zulqarnain Haider has come in for sharp criticism from his ODI captain Shahid Afridi, who termed the wicket-keeper`s step to desert his team midway through a series against South Africa in Dubai citing death threats from match-fixers as "childish".

Afridi today said that he was appalled by Haider`s decision to leave the team hotel in Dubai and flee to London and seek asylum there.

"I just don`t understand what he (Haider) is trying to do. He has behaved very childishly. He has behaved just like Yasir Hameed had done in England. What is he trying to achieve? In the end he will gain nothing and will lose out as a player," he told reporters here.

Pakistan`s ODI captain said that if Haider had got any threats from anyone to fix matches or was feeling the pressure, he should have spoken to his teammates about the matter instead of running away.

"Even if he didn`t want to come to me or the team management he should have spoken to Abdul Razzaq, who is close to him. They play for the same club in Lahore. He has taken the decision of an unstable person," Afridi said.

Haider left the team hotel to reach London last week, claiming he was facing death threats from fixers.

His application for temporary asylum in UK is now under review by the British authorities.

Earlier former captains, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram also felt that the 24-year-old wicket-keeper had taken a wrong step and brought a bad name to Pakistan cricket.

But Haider said from London that everyone had a right to opinion but he had no regrets about his decision to leave the team.

"Anyone in Pakistan cricket who tries to speak the truth or fight for truth is labeled a mental case or unstable. It is nothing new in Pakistan cricket," Haider said.

"I don`t know what is being said in the media but yes it is disappointing for me that although I have taken such a big step for the betterment of Pakistan cricket in future, I am not getting the required support from the present or past players," he said.

Haider pointed out that some people were promoting misleading stories that he ran away because he knew he would have been dropped for the fifth ODI against South Africa.

"I don`t think that is true. I had performed well in the fourth ODI so on what grounds could they drop me? he asked.

"And even if I was dropped for the final ODI, the team would have required me for the Test matches. I was not told by anyone that I was going to be dropped nor did I take my decision because of it," he stated.

Haider also defended his decision not to talk to the team management and players about the threats.

"Given the circumstances Pakistan cricket has faced I thought if this issue came out in open during the series in Dubai, it could even lead to cancellation of remaining matches," he added.