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How much does Haider really know?

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David Bond | 08:28 UK time, Thursday, 11 November 2010

It was a bizarre setting for an extremely unusual story - but what Zulqarnain Haider had to say was chilling.

In the back room of a curry house on the Broadway in Southall, west London, the 24-year-old wicketkeeper recounted what he had been told by a shady middleman in Dubai seeking to fix one-day matches:

"He said: 'If you work with us, we will give you a lot of money. If (not and) you go back home, we will kill you and your family'."

No wonder Haider looked drawn with bags under his eyes. Although he was dressed smartly with a dark winter coat and a scarf tied tightly around his neck, he cut a distant and isolated figure in a room packed tight with journalists and camera crews.

Before his arrival, we had all squeezed into the restaurant and watched as two heavyset security men conducted a search of the top table, where an enormous chair had been set in front of brightly coloured promotional banners for Chaudhry's TKC. Outside, Haider waited in a car and after another 20 minutes or so finally arrived.

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At first, no-one seemed to know what was going on but eventually I asked him why he had come to Britain and what it was that had made him go on the run.

"It was very hard for me when I got threats from one person in Dubai," he said. "I just felt very nervous that he gave me threats. I felt England was a good place.

"If your family was threatened, you would think like me. At that time, I just had the pressure on me and I didn't want any problems for the Pakistan team or officials. I'm a cricket player. I want to be a good citizen. I want to live in peace."

At times, the press conference descended into farce as reporters from Pakistan tried to take the conference live on mobile phones back home, prompting howls of protest from TV crews now picking up interference.

A row broke out and it looked like a Millbank-style stand-off might develop at one stage. But as journalists yelled, the man in fear of his life carried on talking.

So why did Haider break cover in this way?

He was visibly angry at claims made in Pakistan that he had been paid money by bookmakers in the past to fix matches. He defiantly said he would open up his bank account for everyone to look at. He clearly wanted to get this message across and perhaps this was the reason for arranging the conference at such short notice.

But if this was supposed to be the moment cricket's whistleblower blew the lid off corruption inside the Pakistan dressing room, then Haider did not take it.

He repeatedly refused to implicate any of his team-mates in any sort of scandal and said he was not aware of any others receiving similar approaches.

The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit have already met with Haider and want to keep speaking with him. But how much does he really know?

Putting all that aside, the events of the last few days must be placed in context. Here is a 24-year-old cricketer - a man who should have the best years of his career ahead of him - taking drastic action after being told he and his family would be killed unless he played ball with the fixers. If we believe him, then this is uncharted territory for a sport already facing serious scrutiny over its integrity.

It also demonstrates the sort of unique pressures Pakistan's players are under.

We should keep this is mind when we rush to judgment on Pakistan cricket. It is no excuse for cheating but it might explain how some - such as the three players accused of bowling deliberate no balls at Lord's last summer - might get caught up in corruption.

If his story is true - and at this stage we have no reason to doubt him - then Haider has shown remarkable bravery.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Makes for a far more interesting narrative to the plot though,?

  • Comment number 3.

    I may be being a sucker but I do believe he is on the level here. He feels the bookies have got people on the inside at every level and so entirely understandable that he felt unable to approach anyone in authority within the PCB.

    The attitude of a number of former players that he acted 'dishonourably' is, sadly, endemic of some parts of the Asian psyche (not just Pakistan) which puts saving face at the top of the agenda.

    There's something badly wrong here - and to say it's just an issue for Pakistani cricket is being wilfully stupid - there has to be a proper clear-out or else this will rot the game. An earlier post on bbc about cricket becoming more like the WWE is really not that far from becoming true unless there is a real will to do something.

    Finally, I'm proud that Haider clearly has an old fashioned view that England is a country where he will see fair play. I really hope we live up to this.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.


    >>>putting all that aside, the events of the last few days must be placed in context. Here is a 24-year-old cricketer - a man who should have the best years of his career ahead of him

    I seriously dobut it.There is no guarntee in Cricket (more in Pak cricket) that player X will play for pak cricket and make money .This very true for ZH.


    There is no big money for Pak cricketers so they are trying to secure their life by any means.




    he faces classic life insecurity which he blames on some bookie.He is yet proove the threat he received I guess.


    Does he have a case for UK settlement ?

  • Comment number 6.

    How can anyone be surprised that Zulqarnain chose to flee Dubai?

    A decade ago, the Indian team stopped playing in the UAE (Sharjah) because fixing was rife, yet the ICC has chosen to base itself in.....the UAE. And the current General Manager of the ICC's cricket operations, Dave Richardson, was identified years ago by the late Bob Woolmer as having been in the dressing room when Hansie Cronje tried to fix an ODI in India in the 1990s, and never reported the matter. The same Bob Woolmer, incidentally, whose sudden death while coach of Pakistan was initially believed to be homicide.

    It must be awfully difficult for Pakistan's cricketers to know who to trust.

  • Comment number 7.

    "The same Bob Woolmer, incidentally, whose sudden death while coach of Pakistan was initially believed to be homicide."

    Can you say, definitively, that is wasn't? I don't lnow about you, but I still cannot buy into the "natural cause" %&*$%^&...

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hold on a minute, why can't you speculate on here - it is a blog for crying out loud! Surely it is obvious these opinions are my own? Anyway, I'll try again, clearly if it is insinuated that you wouldn't be picked if you didn't help fix a game then it would suggest that the bookmakers have some form of influence over the selectors - now before you moderate me again - what I am 'speculating' is that Haider would have formed this opinion himself therefore how would he know the person he went to at the Pakistani cricket board were not involved? They may not be but that is what the threat implies.

  • Comment number 11.

    Really? Do we believe this guy?

    Perhaps what he has done has revealed the extent of corruption in sport. Perhaps also he thinks it's his only move to divert any future attention away from himself?
    I do hope what he says is true, because bringing his family into the equation is an utter disgrace!
    The question still remains though...that despite his fear he should have informed is team manager.

  • Comment number 12.

    UTBFast: I'm no BBC moderator and no idea why ur comments have been bannned. But you do strike me as having pretty oik-ish opinions - "chuck the lot of them out". Most cricket fans are able to demonstrate more intelligence.

    Perhaps S.African should have been chucked out when Hansie Cronje was found guilty of match-fixing.

    England when atherton rubbed dirt on the ball

    Aussies / Indians - spoke to the bookmakers.

    Pakistan as a country is in a bad way at the moment...depriving them of cricket would be wrong.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm hearing a lot about Haider's so-called courage. What courage? He ran away for crying out loud! Hardly a courageous act on his behalf.

  • Comment number 14.

    @12
    with regards to your point about a country struggling and depriving them of cricket being wrong.

    Like Pakistan now are, Zimbabwe were struggling for a long time before it was decided, initially by themselves, that they should be given a temporary rest from test cricket. the reasons that brought this about, if i remember correctly were because Streak and 15 other white cricketers were taken out of the team and there was a long investigation into the ZCU.
    this is a different situation to what may or may not be going on with Pakistan at the moment but i suppose in the long term it has probably done Zimbabwe cricket good because it has helped them rehabilitate the sport in spite of all the other problems occuring there, with a return to test cricket for next year.

    i only believe that Pakistan shuold be given a 'break' from all forms of cricket for a little while so that they can get their house in order. perhaps once the current investigations are under way. if players under suspicion can be suspended, then why not an association who may now, IF Haider has something provable to say about them, have something to answer for?

    let's not forget that this year has been a very interesting one from their perspective, what with touring cricketers getting shot at there, and the whole debacle following their Australia tour and THEN the spot fixing allegations.
    i am sure most cricket fans would be dismayed if nothing comes of the investigation into the last matter i've mentioned.
    In the case of Pakistan (and this is only me speculating again, fo feel free to delete this), it seems that there is more than one person entrenched in something dodgy. South African cricket only had issues with Cronje and 2-3 others, from what i remember. there was not a whole year long set of issues for them to deal with. i also think the national shame of their former captain standing in a courtroom, telling all was deterrent enough for future players.

    obviously the BBC is careful about now wanting gossip and slander (among other things of course) appearing on their site so i would fully support moderation.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

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  • Comment number 17.

    I agree with some of the above here, Like Brandyrecovery, but i have to ask would suspending Pakistan from all forms of international cricket not send a message to those that need one.

    From my own opinion i do not agree with banning a nation but i feel that we are at the stage where the ICC needs to take a stand along with the whole of cricket.

    Clearly there are some major players behind the scenes who are damaging cricket, are we not yet at the stage where if Pakistan win, loose or draw people will not question it already?

    I believe Haider has done an immense service to his country and cricket as a whole as the ICC had just stated they were happy with the way the PCB were working with them and others. This is now shown not to be the case surely as if Haider could not go to his own management then that must speak volumes.

    I understand from reports on the BBC that Haider is due to meet with officials from the embassy, Lets hope they at least give him a chance unlike those who have spoken out in the media so far.

    I really feel for the guy who since putting his hand up has been treated like he is the bad guy. can some one explain why this is. Even if he is making a mountain out of a molehill (i don't think so but..) sureley we should be dealing with this in a positive way and making sure others in his position don't look at what's happening to him and decide to stay quiet take the money rather than face what Haider has gone through so far?

  • Comment number 18.

    "He said if you work with us, you know, we will give you a lot of money. If you can't, you know, we will not selected again in cricket"

    I think those are the exact words he uses in the video.

    ZH is reporting that the person making the threat was saying that they pick the team.

    ZH is being accused of dishourable action by not reporting this approach to the people who pick the team.

    Apparently he is a coward for not telling the selectors that someone claiming to be the selectors threatened him!

    I'm with usedtobefast (comment 10)...

  • Comment number 19.

    Pakistan as a country is in a bad way at the moment...depriving them of cricket would be wrong.
    ---------------------------
    It would be sad, but I'm not sure it would be wrong. If there is evidence to suggest that this fixing problem runs deep within the Pakistani game then I think that the ICC have very little choice but to suspend them whilst investigations are carried out.

    Second guessing the moderators is tricky so I'm choosing my words carefullly, but it seems to me that Haider did not feel he could trust his management. The comments he's made also suggest that the bookmakers may be able to pressure selections. If the authorities and/or police feel his story is credible then for me there is only one outcome.

    The quotes coming out of the PCB and government do nothing to suggest that they are taking this issue seriously either.

  • Comment number 20.

    Haider has no benefit in doing this unless it is true or he having some kind of breakdown.

    The first thing that the PCB should be interested in is investigating the allegations rather than telling the world that the player has breached rules and will be fined for not showing up. They are completely insensitive and have provided no moral support for the player or his family by their actions. The irony is that they seem to be utterly obsessed by saving face, yet their words and actions are a complete embarrassment and have been throughout the summer.

    There seems to be a lot of smoke hanging around the PCB. That might suggest a fire.

  • Comment number 21.

    My initial post said something similar Frodo, my concerns are over the fact that the PCB and Sports minister were very quick to condemn Haider and his actions rather than showing concern over the wellbeing (both mental and physical) of a young man who clearly cares for his sport and the reputation of his country. If I were in the ICC and the police I would be looking into why they are so quick to condemn their man as either being a liar or making a mountain out of a molehill rather than ensuring their house is in order. I would very much rather they imposed an exile on themselves while they get their house in order. That way they take the pressure off the ICC to make such a monumental decision the same way the Zimbabweans did. From listening to the various members of the PCB speak I think their arrogance and disregard for what other people think of them means that is very unlikely to happen. I'm not suggesting 'chuck the lot of them out' just that they need time to get their house in order - it is clear that it is in dissarray - Pakistan cricket is steeped in fantastic history and fantastic controversy, it is a shame that at the moment the history they are creating is distinctly controversial - talented young players are being let down massively by the PCB in my opinion and because of the mess, us cricketing fans are deprived of watching some serious talent delevop into potential world class players.

  • Comment number 22.

    sorry, develope not delevop!

  • Comment number 23.

    Develop!!! I'm having such a bad day!

  • Comment number 24.

    "Perhaps S.African should have been chucked out when Hansie Cronje was found guilty of match-fixing.

    England when atherton rubbed dirt on the ball

    Aussies / Indians - spoke to the bookmakers.

    Pakistan as a country is in a bad way at the moment...depriving them of cricket would be wrong." Brandy...

    For those still sympathetic to keeping Pakistan playing in cricket's international arenas, what assurances can you provide that the world will not be forced to endure, digest yet another shocking, embarassing episode emanating from this camp?

    Sadly, there comes a time in human history when strong, punitive, retributive measures must be adopted for holistic, remedial reasons: to send a clear message. I could go on and list a number of reasons why that time is now; but am sure the savvy cricket fan knows what they are.

    Whether Haider has done this for ulterior, manipulative reasons or out of genuine fear, the granting of asylum must be given serious fore-thought by British authority. Could this open the flood gates to 'copycatism' and opportunism?

    The examples cited in the above quote by Barndy come no-where close to the egregious levels we have seen coming from this particular camp in recent years.

    For those who do not think that the ICC should step in now and impose strong action against this "offender', what do you suggest they should do?


  • Comment number 25.

    What was wrong with comment 9? How was it potentially defamatory?

    I often wondered what people had written when they come back on complaining about the moderators, I'm beginning to now think they had good reason! I like the way the send you an email you can't reply to!

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    I would like to state that this my own opinion as a cricket fan, and hope it does not break house rules as previous commentators seem to have problems.
    It is difficult not to take Haider revalations at face value considering what has happened in the last year and it would point to something very bad happening to cricket in pakistan. I appreciate that ICC have to work with PCB to sort things out but some of the comments and counter claims being spouted not just now but during the tour of england suggest at the very best there is element of incompetence or at the very worst decit. All of which is very difficult to prove.
    The next question is what to do about it, as at the the moment it is impossible trust any result of any cricket match until this stamped out and why should honest cricket fans around the world pay their hard earned cash to watch a match which has been fixed in some bookie shop in "dubai or india for example!!"
    I suspect that other countries have a problem and are alot better at hiding it but at the moment Pakistan sadly appear to rife with it there is an old surgical moto "if in doubt cut it out" I fear this may be the only cure to secure cricket middle to long term future. Sad as Pakistan has produced some amazing cricketers and cricket over the years but those memories are being tarnished by this rot.
    I suspect though ICC will probably be weak and not rock the boat, this will allow this problem to infect the rest of cricketing world.
    There is one thing we as cricket fans can do is not part with our cash and bycott matches until ICC do something lets be honest the only thing they really care about is money so if we starve them of cash they might come to their senses and act!!

  • Comment number 28.

    The ICC has no control over governance of cricket lately. Bookies easily moves around cricket, e.g IPL - full of bookies, top players played even worst then club cricket, everyone watch it but no one point it. Then why pointing fingers to Pakistan? The bookies is big Mafia, their headquarters are in Dubai and Indian underworld gangs. This is the time ICC and the rest of countries cricket governing bodies take step up and take this issue seriously.

    ZH- I think this guy needs a full mental health evaluation. His stories changes every hour. Why he pick England? He can go to any country? How come British border security forces let him in? He once said, he met the bookies but then later said he didn't see the face? Once he does not want to talk or let anyone knows his where about, now he doing press conference at local resturant? This is all funny, this guy need to have lie detector test by MI6/ Mosad or RAW!

  • Comment number 29.

    ~28, I can understand your anger to a degree but I get the feeling you are not entirely unbiased. Are you pakistani by any chance? Your comments sound more like denial than an objective view point.
    The questions I would put to you is - why would he lie? what would be his motive? A British passport does not seem likely, it just wouldn't be worth it. You have questioned some of his actions and yes, I agree that these probably need explaining but you offer no explanation as to his true intent if not to whistle blow. I also expect he is under a lot of stress and his own actions are not entirely rational. (if my family had been threatened I would be also!)The fact is that there IS a cricketing scandal which unfortunately is gripping Pakistan. This is not an isolated incident it has been happening for a long time, there MUST be an element of truth in all this.
    I would be upset, bitter and hurt if this was The English & Wales Cricket Board whos integrity had been questioned but I implore you to take a step back from personal feelings and look objectionably at this situation that shows no sign of abating.
    Pakistan cricket is in a mess, It is my own opinion that the truth will out and that truth we shall see runs deep through the heirarchy of Pakistan's cricket organisation.
    Moderate me at will, these are only my opinions.

  • Comment number 30.

    well played bbc, maybe get some more shots of the security's ID and the restaurant's name?

  • Comment number 31.

    @kamana,
    Haider's courage lies in the fact that he defied the match fixers who threatened him and his family with dire consequences. In my book that is very courageous. Yes, if he had defied and also stayed back that would be even more courageous but also bordering on stupidity.

  • Comment number 32.

    One of the reasons Haider chose to come to Britain was perhaps a belief that the concept of "fair play" still prevails here and that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

    I for one would very much hope that both of these ideals do still have a place in our national character.

    Unless and until he is shown to be otherwise my instinct is most certainly to believe him.

    That being the case, an independent investigation should be undertaken by the anti-corruption unit with authority to question anyone adn everyone at the Pakistan board, if necessary with the promise of immunity from prosecution. To ban Pakistan would be wrong; wrong for the hundred and sixty odd million cricket fans in that country who have no control over the actions of their board and the fixers.

    Find and remove the individuals concerned and remove them from the sport rather than removing the sport from an unfortunate nation.

  • Comment number 33.


    MODERATORS PLEASE DONOT DISCARD MY POST THIS TIME AS IT APPEARS FINE NOW!

    I think of this modern day cricket as a WWE (WRESTLING MATCH) where the entertainers perform and they earn good money for doing it. In the end everyone is happy the crowd and the performers. That's why I don’t follow any team and just enjoy good performances from anyone who does it. Think of foot ball teams and the attitude of a lot of players when they play internationals, recall how rubbishy and way below par to their own standards they perform in the internationals and world cups the current one is an excellent example!! The same players would put an excellent show in the football leagues because the difference is the financial side of it! Are they not betraying their fans and the country by deliberately not trying hard enough and not giving their 100 %s???

    At present it’s way too much easy to give life threats to anyone and even perform the act and just get away with it. Even the people who are supposed to provide protection to people are themselves not safe there see this:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11737402

    I think this is clearly the only option left with Zulqarnain Haider. I see a lot of people suggesting that he could have gone to senior players or the management please consider this in the current Pakistan cricket scenario and not on the basis of standard procedures. Recently and mysteriously he was sent home after performing well in the test match against England ( all the lame excuses made by the team management) and no one did any thing or supported him, so how come he can trust anyone?

    I totally agree with yakubusdiet ‘yet the ICC has chosen to base itself in.....the UAE. And the current General Manager of the ICC's cricket operations, Dave Richardson, was identified years ago by the late Bob Woolmer as having been in the dressing room when Hansie Cronje tried to fix an ODI in India in the 1990s, and never reported the matter’.




    It clearly appears that the whole Pakistan team is thinking too much about the current spot fixing scandal. They looked really stressed out and drained. Perhaps there is a bit of a guilty feeling as well! If one recalls the cricket news for let us say past two decades match fixing and spot fixing has been around and players from almost all of major international teams have been found guilty or are accused of it in the past. I think this trio of Pakistan being young and knowing the history of spot fixing might have thought ' Oh well lets do it as it's only a few harmless no balls, it won't harm the game, won't harm our country etc and like in the past with other international players no one would even suspect or know! May be they might have got the life threats and just succumbed to pressure. Mr. Mazhar Majeed might have lured them by showing the proofs of other international players doing it and then getting away with easily. But they were unfortunately this time as Mr. Hensie Cronje was when the Indian police by chance intercepted his dealings with the bookies! I think because they have done it first time on the examples set by other international players and they should not be banned for life as cricket is going to lose some good entertainers and its just one off thing and so many others have got away with it so shouldn’t they be given the last chance! I think the more rational thing to do would be all three of them must be heavily fined lets say 70 % of their full assets and this money should be spent on the charity etc. IF they did it and did for money then they must lose money. They must be warned that if the mistake is repeated there is only one option that they'll lose 100% of their assets and a complete life ban as well and then we'll see that how they do it again! And for all those cricket enthusiasts just bear in mind that it appears almost impossible to completely stamp-out spot fixing as there will always be a player who would want to risk his cricketing future for X number of million dollars. Imagine if what they can earn in a single match they can't earn in their entire cricketing career, how many of them will be able resist the temptation?
    Mind you I am just mentioning what appears to me in the current scenarios, so I am not condoning what is happening! Perhaps the ultimate answer to all this corruption would be: from now on the ICC should make a new rule that if anyone proven guilty ( whenever and no time frame as these things sometime do take time)then there is only one option culprits will lose 100% of their assets and a complete life ban as well. FULL STOP!! And if all the past culprits are found guilty of spot fixing or match fixing then they'll lose 80 % of all their assets to set some examples for the present cricketers. I can bet you the ICC will be creating a lot of jobs in the anti corruption department and surely they are going to make a lot of money! In the last as a reminder to all of us! 'In the end Corruption just never pays' and the corrupts are always on the losing side in the end!!!! So we all should try to live our lives as straight as possible. The shortest path is always straight, basic mathematical rule. Isn’t it?..... Cheerios and Love and peace to all! Enjoy your lives but please do think of others as well!!

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm tired of this business dominating the cricket page. Get it on the News page where it belongs. From an England point of view, the top cricket stories of the moment are England v S. Australia in Adelaide and our women's game v Sri Lanka on Sunday.

  • Comment number 35.

    IT IS SO SIMPLE!!!!
    HE WANTS TO SEEK ASYLUM IN UNITED KINGDOM AND MAKE MONEY.
    He knew that after 3 Pakistani cricketers were caught in match fixing, it was not possible to earn Extra Cash for him. And if he does this drama he would get sympathy from British people and it would help him to stay here on Asylum.
    He said that some 'Unknown Person' contacted him while he was going out for a dinner in a restaurant in Dubai. (if he would have said somebody called him, then phone number could be traced). How intelligent.
    According to him, nobody was with him when he went out for dinner! Wow! and he was playing International cricket match and staying with his team in a hotel.Isn't it interesting?
    First he thought British Government would give him Political Asylum but when he found out that that's not possible, he backed off from his earlier comment of retirement from international cricket.
    He wants to stay in Britain by any means.
    That's the FACT.


  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    The only certain fact to emerge from all this is that Darrel Hair was right

  • Comment number 38.

    @ 29 Why he chose UK : Simple, easy to get asylum, make good money and abuse the system.
    These comments are not denial, even a lay man person can judge the body movements in the IPL games, if you ever watches it. The one I mentioned in my comments. It is true Cricket in Pakistan is mess - but people do not have to look one sided view. There is bad fishes in Pakistan cricket which needs to be taken care of but it doesn't mean rest of the world cricket governing bodies can isolate Pakistan, which they all are trying best. It is time to start clean up the place where betting is Legal - as no body point out because, everyone cricket board has stakes in it.
    Match or Spot Fixing is such a bad root which is eating the cricket very fast. We have to taken care of all seeds but not one root, Pakistan.

  • Comment number 39.

    "If his story is true - and at this stage we have no reason to doubt him - then Haider has shown remarkable bravery."

    Yes - this is, nearly word-for-word, what I've said in my comments on both your previous blogs on this story. Both of which, er, cast doubt on him. Glad to see you've come round, anyway!

  • Comment number 40.

    There is a widely held view in Pakistan that the PCB and mainstream politics/politicians go hand in hand. I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusions.

  • Comment number 41.

    If he is telling the truth (and there's no reason to believe otherwise - this is his career at stake), then he needs to receive the full support of the cricketing fraternity so that the situation is resolved for the better.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don’t know how so many are questioning ZH's motives and find it appalling that it is even being discussed. If you knew anything of his life, how much he has had to fight and the character he has had to show in order to get as far as he has you would find it humbling. Why on earth would anyone go to such lengths in order to play for their national team - and by his own admission earn up to three thousand pounds per match - wish to come to England purely for the intention of seeking asylum? What kind of charmed life do you honestly believe asylum seekers live in this country? I believe many of the Pakistani players may have faced threats like this before, but it isn’t just at the level of the players. Geoff Lawson has an interview published in the Sydney Morning Herald where he discusses a selector being threatened (with the kidnapping of his daughter) if he did not pick a player for the national team. He then went on to say that President Musharaf had to intervene in order to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, corruption has become a way of life in Pakistan and culture as a whole in Pakistan needs to change. Change demonstrable at a national level in the form of the Pakistan cricket team may spark the rest of the country to change in a similar fashion.

  • Comment number 44.

    I believe he is telling the truth, its good he is telling everyone now
    Why would he be lying to us?
    He made good choice to retire from cricket and save his life
    Now lets see what happens over the next few days

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Moderater,would you please tell me the reason for removing my earlier comments? Do I have to agree to this article? Is that what you are saying?

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    What will happen when a desperate kid is misled, Haiders place in the team is possible only if Akmal brothers are sidelined. With their ability to getaway from punishments with ease and their influence in the board ( Also with bookies) will make any new kid to feel insecure.

    Haider is clearly making up the story to get away from this mess and for settlement in UK, because it is very easy to live a luxurious life with tax payers money and get into county cricket where they can easily make more money.

  • Comment number 49.

    Never heard of Zulqarnain Haider!!

  • Comment number 50.

    I cannot believe the mentality of some people on here who are claiming ZH's actions are intended to gain a British passport and assylum....who in there right mind would consciously make the decision to give up the life of an international cricketer to live off benefits in the UK?? I know the Pakistani team is not well paid compared to other test playing nations but surely the financial gains from playing and sponsrship must be more than the benefits on offer in the UK???

    I fully believe ZH, simply because I don't see how he can gain from lying

  • Comment number 51.

    I said this at the time when everyone in the media was crucifying the 3 Pakistani players, what if there was coercion? now everyone can see that you don't have to take money before death-threats begins. Like any profitable shady business, gangs aren't going to let go just easily and this proves ICC no matter how blameless they make themselves look in this issue, they are not protecting players enough from these thugs.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think it's all made-up just for personal gain.

  • Comment number 55.

    I remember his battling 80+ not out in the second test where he faced over 200 balls trying in vain to save the game.

    At the time i felt a bit sorry for him - In a series where Pakistan were fairly spinless in large parts, that innings showed real character.

    He looks a promising cricketer so good luck to him with whatever he does - i hope it works out well for him.

    Could he play county cricket as a Kolpak player?

  • Comment number 56.

    I wonder if his story is true, is he such a coward to runaway like that?? No brave person would ever do that. He should have spoken to his team mates, manager,police or any responsible person. He says he is loyal to Pakistan and wants Pakistan team to win then why he betrayed his own team / country. If he is a patriot and truely loyal to Pakistan then he should have died playing for Pakistan instead of runningaway like a looser. For such a weak person a slightest threat would be enough in the future if he plans to play for a county.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    shame on the moderators. my comments do not come in any category u have mentioned earlier on.i m gutted because it is outrageous. u could have modify it.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    I CAN BET THAT THE OTHER TRIO OF MUHAMMAD AMIR , MUHAMMAD ASIF AND SALMAN BUTT MUST HAVE FACED SIMILAR THREATS AS WELL BUT ALAS
    (I HOPE THIS MAY NOT BE THE CASE) THEY JUST SUCCUMED TO INTERNAL AND OR EXTERNAL PRESSURES. LAW N ORDER SITUATION IN PAKISTAN THESE DAYS AS GOOD AS SOMALIA OR MAY BE NIGERIA. THEY MAY NEED THE HELP OF UNO FORCES AT THE MOMENT TO SORT THE MESS THEY'VE GOT THEMSELVES IN. IF THE PPL WHO HAVE TO PROVIDE SECURITY ARE NOT SAFE THEN HOW CAN THEY PROVIDE SECURITY TO THESE PLAYERS :(

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    I really dont understand the cynicism behind Haider's actions here. What would he gain from running away? Its not going to improve his selection prospects is it? Hes hardly going to get millions of money from running away is he? And 'betraying' his country is hardly going to make his family safer in Pakistan is it? He'd gain nothing from running away and admitting he was threatened by bookmakers. More anger should be directed towards the book makers!

    People that call him a coward for running away get real will you! This is the real world and there was a real threat made against his family by people who are seriously well organised criminals. After the Bob Woolmer fiasco i can fully understand why people would run when threatened by ppl like this.

    ppl that talk cynically about him running to the UK to get asylum know nothing about Pakistan, it is an extremely corrupt country! I go there with family once every 4 years or so, iv seen the corruption first hand. Even if u go to the airports the ppl checking ur baggage point blank demand money off you, if u dont give it they refuse to let you through customs. Thats how corrupt the country is! Even if ur caught driving with no licence in Pk u slip 1000 Rupees to the police officer he'll let u get away scot free. How can u trust ppl like that with ur safety when ur life is being threatened? I dont blame Zulqarnain for running to England, i wish some day the Pk public will have this confidence in Pk security.

  • Comment number 63.

    I do sympathize with Haider if it is true!
    In my opinion, he must have reported to his team manager and PCB officials instead of disappearing from Dubai and appearing in London. He was member of a National team.
    His actions so for are irresponsible doubtful very suspicious.
    He has no grounds to stay in UK. He must be deported to his home country and handed over to PCB. The relevant officials should conduct an inquiry to prove his allegations.
    Considering his asylum application will open another door for 'bogus' asylum seekers who are in fact 'illegal immigrants'!

  • Comment number 64.

    bbc has moderated you because you have decided to take this opportunity to slander pakistan once again like most indians seem to do whenever there is an article regarding pakistan....

    and what a great point umade earlier, about the mobile phone number getting traced! you really think a match fixer or anybody involved in illegal activites is going to call his network provider and say "hi can i register my sim card please"....

    its unlikely he is doing this for asylum!
    when somebody decides to come clean, they should be given the opportunity!

    "At 8:07pm on 11 Nov 2010, IndianLFCBiggestFan wrote:
    IT IS SO SIMPLE!!!!
    HE WANTS TO SEEK ASYLUM IN UNITED KINGDOM AND MAKE MONEY."
    may i ask how you are so sure, does this happen to be a strategy you may have used but now dont want others to?

  • Comment number 65.

    Althogh Haider seems to be a honest man.. i think the motive is to to seek asylum in UK.. he could have called a press conference in dubai about the issue.. for the people who are saying there is corruption in pakistan and haider had no choice.. there is corruption in india as well.. but we dont end up seeking asylum for any conceivable reason..

  • Comment number 66.

    yes he could of called a press confrence in dubai, if the brother of hamas leader can get killed in a dubai hotel (who is more of a target) would you not think an upcoming cricketer could?

    and about those saying he will be on tax payers money? get a grip if anything he will be contributing towards the £160bn debt we are in if he was to stay and sign up for a club!

  • Comment number 67.

    @ 62 MR ANEEQ

    in what world you are living man. i live in pakistan and i often travel to uk. i have never ever paid any money at check in. there are no customs after check in anyway. customs always come either before check in or after you have collected your luggage and wants to leave the departure area. do not exaggerate to give bad image of Pakistan. the country is not that bad.traffic system has improved much since pervez musharaf's era. there are speed checking cameras, smartly dressed traffic officers who get well paid from government and won't take a penny from you as a bribe. if you are caught doing any driving offence they issue you a chalan to pay in national bank. don't ruin the image of our beloved country.no wonder your forefather's migrated from pakistan to uk decades ago in search of better life but never ever forget this is the country all your roots come from and provided the basic needs of your elders that made them able to migrate to uk.

  • Comment number 68.

    He is just interested in getting the sympathies of people and for that he is telling a new story every day.why he left the team after 3 days bcoz he knows that he is going to be dropped for the 5th ODI and by choosing UK he knows that he will get the assylum easily which so many others had done before him and also he will be able to play atleast club cricket to earn his livings & also he can get lots of money by selling his story.
    there is one simple fact that if his family is being provided security upon hiding and earning bad name for Pakistan then how is it not possible to tell some body in management or Pakistan govt.about any fixing claims & death threats & his family will be provided the security but if a person met him in DUBAI hotel that person could still easily be detected so I can just say that he is lying just to get assylum and fame

  • Comment number 69.

    Now let us see the reality of ZH's dilema

    1) ZH is approached by a gangster and told in no uncertain terms to comply with their demands to "fix " the game !! He does not !!

    2) ZH and family is threatened

    3) ZH thinks long and hard about his security.

    4) Does he stay in Dubai ? Considering that it is the home of Mafia Dons from all over the world and they could not protect the Hamas boss from assassination, he decides that Dubai is not a place to stay and be safe !!

    5) Now ZH mulls over returning to Pakistan, and then remembers even Benazir Bhutto was assasinated and since then even the Headquarters of the CID in Karachi was blown to pieces, In Pakistan even the secret Police can't protect themselves against gangsters, will they be able to protect ZH ?? So ZH decides to take asylum in UK.

    6) Once in UK, ZH is then threatened and mocked by the PCB and the sports minister about being a coward, and then accused by former players who have "black marks" over their heads about being involved in gambling rackets of being foolish and immature.

    7) In hindsight ZH did the right thing !!

    8) Now it is about time the ICC and PCB did the right thing and clean their own cupboards and through out the skeletons and expose the nasty characters who brought this game into disrepute !!!

  • Comment number 70.

    It is great that he is standing up for match fixing, but a few questions

    1. Why not report this to the team manager
    2. What beats me is that he says that all this took place in the open in Dubai, when he was out for dinner.........how come OUT and all alone......!!!!!!!
    3. Or is it just a way of getting asylum in the UK????? Tell me how come he had a visitors visas on hand?

  • Comment number 71.

    If ZH had reported the matter to the team management, he would truely have been stupid.

    Waqar Younis has been implicated in match fixing in the past, where is he now ? ..Part of the team managment and coaching

    Asif Iqbal the former Pakistan and Kent Captain is regarded as one of teh founding fathers of match-fixing from his involvment in the farcical matches played in Sharjah, wher is he now ?....Match Referee for the ICC !!


    Wasim Akram again implicated and suspended for match fixing. Where is the great fast bowler now ?................A respected and sought after commentator for teh Western Media ?

    So ZH should go to the management !!!! He might as well jump in a cesspit rather than put his trust in a nest of thieves !!

  • Comment number 72.

    This is most of all a deeply worrying and sad state of affairs for ZH and his family, however it is also typical of Pakistani cricket.

    From my childhood one nation has consistently brought the cricket world into shame and disrepute. Over the last 30 years Pakistan have managed to upset nearly every other nation and stained the reputation of cricket. Arguing with umpires, ball tampering, walking off, match fixing, the suspicious death of Bob Woolmer and worst of all the wonderful Sri Lanka team were nearly all murdered on tour, etc . . . It's a farce.

    People wondered why many test grounds were half empty for the Pakistan tests in England this summer. Unfortunately many English (and indeed Australian) cricket supporters can no longer put up with the manner of Pakistan's supporters. Any other nation - and their is humour and banter within the crowd. No so with Pakistan's followers. The majority are aggressive, rude and boorish - (the latter word I would normally associate with a certain group within England's ranks.) I and many others will never attend an England v Pakistan match again.

    Sadly we must forego the pleasure of watching this most naturally talented of teams who mix skill and inspiration with chaos and corruption. The ICC should temporarily suspend Pakistan IMMEDIATELY.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    I have been lucky enough to play alongside Zulquanain or Zonnie as we called him for a season. He was over here gaining experience at club level. At that stage he was already the Pakistan U19 wkt-keeper, but allowed our regular keeper to play in that position, he mucked in with the chores around the club, showed superb fielding skills that inspired our team. He scored six hundreds in about eight innings, he was a pleasure to know and a true gentleman. I know all those that played alongside him wish him well, he is brave to speak out, to speak out about this matter is a very brave thing to do. It is unfortunate that in Pakistan it is who you know not how good you are that matters. For example Zonnie would not have played in t he Lords test if Akmal had not got injured despite Akmal having a horrendour series with bat and gloves, the reason, he is a very good friend of Salman Butt!! Do not damn Zonnie have sympathy and admiration for brave and honorable cricketer.

  • Comment number 76.

    Who are the ICC answerable to ?

    Are the ICC an international body with no accountablility ??

  • Comment number 77.

    Who is the ICC accountable to ??

    Or is it just a run-away train ??

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm glad you detailed the question you asked him. Bad journalists often try to disguise what they really asked.

    It might be instructive to learn how he met this shady middleman. Was he introduced by a friend or colleague?
    Or did this shady character simply walk up to him in the supermarket and threaten to kill his family if he didn't try to fix a cricket match?

    Of course, I wouldn't dream of publicly suggesting that a journalist woul do that sort of thing.

  • Comment number 80.

    there are a lot of people,try to make stories and they become successful, but his story is not realistic and look like very immature

  • Comment number 81.

    There is corruption in all south asian countries.pakistan is in a mess which is very difficult to change since they are a very divided country inside having big rifts identifying themselves more as baluchis punjabis sindhis pathans. a punjabi is risking his life if he moves to baluchistan.many pakistanis would come strongly against my comment and try defending it blindfolded.its how they are they can never accept certain truth and they defend it somehow or the other.there are so many good pakistanis but they are helpless.human life is in great risk in pakistan as any bomb can explode anytime. this is god given punishment of being dishonest and doing everything undercover from the time it was independant.hyder give him a chance some me are tough and brave some less he must have feared for his life.he came to uk since thats the only country which will accept him whats wrong in that hes a sportsman give him a chance also about him more money in uk its wrong he will make more money in pakistan than in uk. see his familys interview where his wife saying she will never leave pakistan and always remain grateful .the admin must have pressurised her to say that to save countrys image since her face showed the whole story/haider have done big wrongdoing to he since paki admin will never let her join him since its national issue now.its sad for her and their children let god help them.

  • Comment number 82.

    Well, 'the fixer' threatened to kill his family aswell - but he goes on the run alone? I know i wouldnt run off alone - i would either take my family with me or stay with them to try and protect them.

    I think Pakistan need to be barred or atleast given a warning - not because of the cricketers but so that the authorities get a wake up call and actually do something meaningful and positive to eradicate the scum of match fixing.

    The authorities obviously are not proactive enough or just dont care hence the reason why ZH didnt feel comfortable going to them. Players do need security !!! I am of pakistani origin btw.

  • Comment number 83.

    Britain has been become Pakistan's surrogate country. for everything Pakistan and people of Pakistan refer Britain. Earlier it used to be meeting place for Anti-India activities and British intelligence closed its eyes on every anti-India activities.

    I wonder why do Pakistanis go to Britain for everything? Musharaf launched his political party from UK, not from Pakistan. Haider instead of complaining to Pak Cricket Board, he flew to London to "expose" the betting in Pak cricket. Why didn't he take asylum in Saudi Arabia? No one will touch him in Saudi Arabia, if he says the betting mafia will kill him and his family. Corruption in cricket has become a synonym to Pakistan cricket. Any cricket corruption has come connection with the mafia in Pakistan. So I wonder what is the connection between UK and Pakistan.
    Thank You.

  • Comment number 84.

    Agree with you 70. I just find it strange when he fled leaving everything behind he picked up a UK visitor visa on route to the airport.

    In any event, given the publicity that has followed this case I suspect ZK will be well protected when he returns home and indeed could do more to bring about the exposure of these betting claims in Pakistan under the ever watchful eye of the ICC and PBC who will I am sure ensure no harm comes to him

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Morderator, would you please give me the reason for not printing my comments in the first place. thanking you.

  • Comment number 87.

    Moderator, thank you.

 

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