‘I was running for my life’, says terrified Pak wicketkeeper Haider

November 11th, 2010 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 11(ANI): Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has revealed how threats from bookmakers forced him to flee his team’s hotel in the United Arab Emirates and seek refuge in the United Kingdom.

Haider has sensationally quit international cricket after he fled from Dubai to London on Monday after receiving death threats when he refused to fix two matches of the ODI series against South Africa.

“The threat was so imminent, I had to leave. My life was at stake. Had I not flown out in time, you would have the news of my death. They would have killed me. They were chasing me,” the Sun quoted Haider, as saying.

“I was approached by a bookie who wanted me to fix the fourth and fifth one-dayers. This person approached me while I had gone out of the hotel for dinner. He told me co-operate and I’d make a lot of money - or face the consequences.”

“He said if I didn’t then I would no longer be part of the team and they would make life very difficult. Until the last day I was not so scared, I did not take it seriously until the end of the fourth match,” he added.

The 24-year-old also described his harrowing journey to London.

“I was not confident enough to speak to the team management about it because I didn’t want to get my other team-mates into trouble. I was running for my life. I was praying to God to save me,” Haider said.

“When I finally got on the plane I felt a little relieved, but then I thought of my family. I am still very concerned about them,” he added.

Haider further said that he is now worried for the safety of his parents, older brother Raza and his sister in Pakistan.

“My only concern now is the security of my family. I am very, very concerned. I want the Pakistan government to act and ensure my family is safe. There is no point in making myself secure and losing my family,” Haider said.

Earlier, Pakistan Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani has said that his government would not support any move from Haider to get asylum in the UK.

“We don’t support his actions and believe he should have come to us if he was under threat from anyone. He didn’t have confidence in the national team management or Pakistan Cricket Board,” Jakhrani said.

“If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team. This is not way for a member of the national team to behave or for even a professional cricketer to behave,” he added. (ANI)

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