Haider abandons Pak cricket team, seeks refuge in London

first_imgAlready facing troubles over several match-fixing charges, Pakistan cricket now faces a new crisis after the team’s wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider abandoned his team in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and fled to London seeking refuge to evade a “threat” from the bookies. In a dramatic turn of events, Haider was reported missing on Sunday, on the eve of the deciding fifth one-day international (ODI) against South Africa. He did not arrive with the team at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Hours later, the player was filmed exiting Heathrow airport in London. The only indication of what led Haider to abandon his team was a cryptic status update on social networking site Facebook: “leaving pakistan cricket because get bad msg fr 1 man fr lose the match in last game”. Haider was the hero for Pakistan in the previous match as he hit 19 crucial runs to take his side home and level the series 2-2. But his match-winning performance became a cause of concern for the young cricketer. He was fined after the match for flouting team curfew rules and was “threatened” for his on-field heroics. Initially the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) feigned ignorance about the entire matter, but later ordered an inquiry into the cricketer’s disappearance. Haider’s brother alleged that the PCB ignored the threats to him but remained ignorant. Now, until Haider himself comes forward, no one would know the real reason for his dramatic exit from the team. Haider’s act of vanishing comes on the heels of a corruption scandal that hit the Pakistan team in August 2009 when three of its players were accused of match-fixing following a newspaper investigation. Then captain Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir have been under suspension since then for allegedly accepting money via a middleman to bowl no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s.advertisementlast_img

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