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Pakistani wicketkeeper goes missing


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Pakistan confirm wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has gone missing

• He leaves with passport ahead of fifth ODI against South Africa

• May have got threats after hitting winning runs in last match

 

Zulqarnain Haider celebrates taking a wicket during Pakistan's fourth ODI win against South Africa. Photograph: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan have confirmed that wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider disappeared with his passport ahead of today's deciding one-day international against South Africa in Dubai.

 

Reports this morning suggested Haider had received a threatening message after Pakistan did not lose the fourth ODI. Haider hit the winning runs on that occasion.

 

Team manager Intikhab Alam would not comment on the reasons for the keeper's no-show, but confirmed: "Haider did not come with the team to the ground and we are looking for him."

 

Some reports have suggested Haider may be bound for England, and Nadeem Sarwar, the Pakistan Cricket Board's general manager of media, told Cricinfo: "He took his passport from us last night on the pretext of needing it for something. It is normal practice for he could have needed it for any number of things.

 

"He did not say anything to the team management about this at all. We have initiated inquiries into the matter. The Anti-Corruption Support Unit [ACSU]has been informed and is being kept in the loop. Local security officials have also been alerted."

 

Captain Shahid Afridi said at ahead of today's toss: "He's resting, we're still trying to find him. Security is trying to trace him."

 

Raza Haider, Zulqarnain's brother, said the wicketkeeper added: "I spoke to Zulqarnain after the fourth ODI and he told me he had received some kind of threats after that game, but he gave no details."

 

Haider made 19 not out to win the fourth match for his side – with one ball to spare – and level the series at 2-2. He was then fined 12,000 rupees (£87), along with Shahzaib Hasan and Abdur Rehman, for breaking a team curfew.

 

Security has been provided for his family in Lahore, with senior superintendent of police Rana Faisal confirming: "We have deployed a dozen police officials at Haider's residence, so that they can be guarded properly if there is any threat."

 

Umar Akmal is deputising behind the stumps for today's game in one of three changes to the side, with Mohammad Yousuf and Hasan replacing Asad Shafiq and Imran Farhat. South Africa won the toss and are batting.

 

Grauniad

:unsure:

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Thought it might have got more of a mention

 

Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider says he is planning to seek political asylum in Britain after fleeing from Dubai claiming he had received death threats for refusing to become involved in match-fixing.

 

Haider also said that he was retiring from international cricket to take himself out of harm's way, but later made statements that seemed to contradict that stance.

 

Haider turned up in London on Monday after disappearing from the Pakistan squad in Dubai, after scoring the winning runs in the fourth one-day international against South Africa.

 

The 24-year-old told Pakistan TV station Geo that he plans to seek political asylum in Britain after confirming he had received death threats for defying match-fixing plans.

 

"I understand there is rule in Britain that if you are on right and if you are not a criminal, then they always protect you," Haider said.

 

Dignity

Haider added that he had received death threats after he refused to accept the alleged plan to allow South Africa to win the game in Dubai.

 

"I received death threats to lose the fourth and fifth one-day internationals against South Africa, but I could not compromise the dignity of my country," Haider added.

 

"I would rather flee away than sell out the dignity and respect of my motherland.

 

"I can assure you that I am safe and sound. I'm not arrested but I cannot tell where I am hiding for the sake of protection of my life.

 

"Immigration officials in the UK were kind to me and proposed me to hire the services of a counsellor but I am yet to reach a decision."

 

Haider says he does not want to name those involved in the alleged match-fixing proposal, and also voiced his concern for his family's safety back in Pakistan.

 

 

Approach

"I was approached by one person who asked me to fix the fourth and fifth match and there would be problem for me if I did not do it," Haider said.

 

"I do not want to say who is involved and who is not involved in the match fixing. I cannot say what kind of threats I have received as my family is still in Pakistan."

 

Haider initially announced his retirement from international cricket due to the threats he claims he and his family have been receiving.

 

However, the same station that reported his earlier comments later quoted him as saying that he would be prepared to play for Pakistan and even return to his home country provided his safety could be guaranteed.

 

"The (UK) border agency has taken my fingerprints and issued me a temporary stay," Haider said.

 

"I had no intentions of applying for political asylum at this stage and, if the Pakistan government is ready to give me assurance of security for me and my family, I am ready to return to Pakistan.

 

"I have no issues playing for Pakistan again provided the Pakistan Cricket Board wants me to play."

 

Match-fixing allegations have dogged Pakistan cricket ever since August, when Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were accused of being involved in a spot-fixing betting scandal against England

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He's getting a hell of a slating in Pakistan, being painted as a weak individual who has embarrassed and let down his country. I cant help but fear for the ability or desire of Pakistan to eradicate this problem, the approach seems to be one of head in the sand and denial, whilst throwing mud around to deflect attention.

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He's getting a hell of a slating in Pakistan, being painted as a weak individual who has embarrassed and let down his country. I cant help but fear for the ability or desire of Pakistan to eradicate this problem, the approach seems to be one of head in the sand and denial, whilst throwing mud around to deflect attention.

that is absolute tosh.. he is being painted as a hero who is willing to sacrifice wealth and career for the greater good of the game..

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so pcb is representative of and controlling the opinions the population and media of pakistan. that is one ********* logic which you are trying to sell

 

I'll ignore the chorus of boos, but on the main point, do you think the PCB have anything like the will or the way to deal with this?

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He can always get his job back at the Chicken Cottage in Luton.

he probably will.. although had we had even a geriant jones standard of keeper he would be no where to be seen in the pakistani colours

 

I'll ignore the chorus of boos, but on the main point, do you think the PCB have anything like the will or the way to deal with this?

pcb will try to sweep it under the carpet like the icc have in the past.. i do not think anyone is serious about getting rid of spot fixing.. wont be surprised if some top people in the pcb have a cut..

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