x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pakistan police claim arrests of bookmakers behind death threats to Zulqarnain Haider

The player fled the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai last November hours before the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa.

KARACHI // Pakistani police claim to have arrested a gang of bookmakers who were behind death threats to the wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider.

Zulqarnanin fled the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai last November hours before the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa.

He flew to London where he applied for asylum after saying that an unknown person had threatened him for not co-operating in fixing the one-day series.

"We arrested eight bookmakers yesterday and some of them have confessed they had the threatening calls made to Zulqarnain," Nasir Qureshi, a senior investigating police officer, told Reuters.

The bookmakers running an illegal den were arrested from the Sambrial area near Sialkot in the eastern province of Punjab.

Haider returned to Islamabad last week after getting reassurances from Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister, about his safety and security.

Qureshi said the arrested men appeared to be well-connected and deeply involved in gambling on international matches.

"We have recovered around 250 mobile and landline sets from them, some ammunition, records and computers," he said.

Zulqarnain is still in Islamabad and is awaiting security clearance from authorities to go to his hometown of Lahore.

The 25-year old wicketkeeper has been told to appear before the Pakistan Cricket Board disciplinary committee to respond to charges that he left the team without informing the team management, which was a violation of his contract.