Haider suspended by Pakistan Cricket Board

first_imgPakistan’s wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport from Dubai, Monday Nov. 8, 2010, after skipping his team’s one-day match against South Africa in Dubai. Haider flew from the United Arab Emirates where he had been scheduled to play in the deciding one-day international in the series against South Africa. Team officials had reported Haider as missing to police and the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and security unit.Zulqarnain Haider was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday for abandoning the team in the United Arab Emirates before a match and fleeing to London, reportedly to seek asylum from threats linked to match-fixers.The 24-year-old wicketkeeper quit the Pakistan team in Dubai and flew to Britain on Monday, claiming he received threats and was offered money to lose matches against South Africa. After Haider left, Pakistan lost the fifth and deciding one-day international to lose the series.Pakistan’s GEO TV reported Haider as saying he’d had his first hearing on an asylum request, and that a second one would happen next month. British authorities do not comment on specific asylum cases.ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat confirmed his organization had “met with the player and is following up with the PCB,” but wouldn’t elaborate.The PCB said Haider violated the terms and conditions of his contract. It also said the board had been unable to contact the cricketer.”We have been trying to get in touch with him but unfortunately we have not established any link yet,” PCB director of cricket operations Zakir Khan told Associated Press Television News. “What we have heard so far is from him, via press and electronic media. We will like to know what went wrong.”advertisementIn interviews with GEO on Tuesday, Haider first claimed he was retiring from cricket and seeking asylum in Britain. He later said he was prepared to return to Pakistan if the government guaranteed his safety.On Wednesday, GEO’s news-ticker quoted Haider as saying “first hearing on political asylum request in the U.K. lasted for five minutes. Questions of ordinary nature were asked. Next hearing fixed for December 10.”Usually, people seeking asylum in Britain are given a short, informal interview soon after arriving to help channel their claim within the system. A more detailed interview is then arranged for a later date.On a Facebook page apparently belonging to Haider, the cricketer wrote that he was offered $25,000 by an “Asian looking man” one day before the fourth one-day match in Dubai, but that he ignored this. On the day of the match, he said he received text messages telling him to lose the match otherwise he would be killed.The alleged threats and match-fixing allegations are the latest setback for a Pakistan team already weighed down by accusations that three players were involved in a betting scandal during a test in England in August.Lorgat denied the ICC was targeting Pakistan as part of its anti-corruption drive, saying “we are very sympathetic to the issues that Pakistan cricket is challenged by and are providing all the support we possibly can and will continue to do so.”Illegal betting on cricket matches is a multimillion dollar industry in South Asia. Betting syndicates stand to earn massive sums of money if they have “fixed” the result of the game, or moments in it, by paying players. The syndicates have also reportedly threatened players and their families who do not go along with them.Former test captain Imran Khan, an influential figure in the game and a politician, said he was disappointed with Haider.”It will be clear in the coming days what was behind this incident, but this is a shameful thing for our country,” Imran Khan told GEO news channel.- With inputs from Associated Presslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *