x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Cricketer Zulqarnain Haider to retire

The Pakistan wicketkeeper says he will retire amid discussions with immigration officials about his status in Britain and claims he received death threats from match-fixers.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider is contemplating his future after announcing he will retire from cricket.
Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider is contemplating his future after announcing he will retire from cricket.

KARACHI // Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has announced his retirement from international cricket one day after he fled the team hotel in Dubai and travelled to London claiming he was receiving threats from match-fixers.

"I have decided it is best for me to retire from international cricket since my family and I are constantly getting threats. It is best I leave international cricket," Zulqarnain told Geo News channel from London.

Zulqarnain has claimed he had been ordered to co-operate with match-fixers during the one-day series with South Africa that ended on Monday in Dubai.

Zulqarnain, 24, who fled the team hotel on Monday and reached London hours later, told the Geo News channel he had been approached by a person who asked him to fix the fourth and fifth one-dayers.

"I was told to co-operate or I would face lot of problems," Zulqarnain said from London before later announcing he was retiring from international cricket.

"I have decided it is best for me to retire from international cricket since my family and I are constantly getting threats. It is best I leave international cricket."

Zulqarnain, who scored an unbeaten 19 and hit the winning runs in the fourth one-dayer on Friday, mysteriously left the team hotel hours before the fifth and final one-day match eventually won by South Africa who took the series 3-2.

He landed in London hours after leaving Dubai and spent almost four hours locked in discussions with immigration authorities before finally emerging from Heathrow airport.

Zulqarnain said he had not yet decided on whether to seek political asylum in Britain.

"I have not thought about this, I don't even have enough money to hire a lawyer, my only concern now is the security of my family in Lahore," he said.

"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," Zulqarnain said, according to an AP report.

Zulqarnain, who has played just one test and four ODIs, insisted he did not regret his decision to walk out on the team.

"I did what I felt was right. I don't want to go into details now," he said. "But it is a fact that I couldn't be part of any corruption in the series or go against my country."

Zulqarnain said he had gone to London because he felt safe there and knew that in Britain the law protected those in the right.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Monday the player had not informed them he was planning to leave the hotel nor had he told them the reason for his sudden decision.