After going missing in Dubai on Monday, Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has surfaced in London. Haider has informed cricket authorities of his wherabouts and says that he will explain the reasons for his mysterious departure from the UAE later. Haider was all set to play the final ODI match against South Africa in the on-going UAE series but had disappeared from his hotel room on the morning of the day the match was to be played.
"I have come here (London) on my own expenses on a one month visa. I will be staying at a hotel on my own expenses," Haider told reporters, after apparently spending almost four hours with immigration officials at Heathrow. "I will speak in detail on the reasons for my decision to leave Dubai and come to London later on."
The PCB's legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said Haider was in breach of his contract but the board was "concerned about this whole situation." "He will definitely face an inquiry and disciplinary action whenever he contacts us," Rizvi said.
The initial indication that all was not well with Haider was when he left a cryptic message on his Facebook page which read: "Leaving Pakistan cricket because get bad msg fr 1 man fr lose the match in last game." The "last match" is no doubt referring to the 4th ODI against South Africa in which Haider scored a crucial 19 runs to take his side to victory.
As the day progressed, there were more confusing reports about Haider. His brother said that he had spoken with him the previous day and that Haider had indicated that his life was under threat for winning the match. A reporter also claimed to have received Haider's Facebook message on his cell phone.
Television images showed him arriving at Heathrow later on Monday, confirming an earlier Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement that they had information he was on his way to the UK.
The PCB, which has set up an inquiry into the issue, said it was working with the ICC's anti-corruption unit to investigate the matter.