Haider repeats claims in press conference

Published: Friday, November 12, 2010, 11:42 [IST]
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Haider repeats claims in PC

On Thursday, retired Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider made his first public appearance after fleeing Dubai and surfacing in London in the middle of his side's series against South Africa. Speaking to reporters at a press conference at Chaudhry's TKC Restaurant in Southhall, London, Haider reiterated that he had fled because of death threats made against him and his family. He also stated that the most effective way for the ICC to negate match fixing would be to "record all player's phones an record where they are going. "

"It was very hard for me when I got threats from one person in Dubai," he said. "I just felt very nervous." He added "a lot of people are involved" in match-fixing and said that he would co-operate with the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit as he desires that cricket be "clear of fixing", but he stopped short of alleging anyone in his team was involved or culpable of match-fixing.

The 24-year-old chose to runaway to England because "this country is very humane, very co-operative, and there are very nice people here and there are very good rules here for my safety." However, he said he did not intend to claim asylum permanently.

Haider believes the person who threatened him wanted him to help rig the fourth and fifth ODIs against South Africa. He described the conversation but said he did not know the man's identity. "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.'"

He said he decided not to tell the Pakistan team management about his actions because he didn't want to cause problems for another party else as well. But in an earlier phone interview CNN, Haider said he didn't tell team management because he wasn't sure whom he could talk to. "I just felt if I told anyone about the threat - senior players, my manager, the cricket board - maybe if they are involved in the situation they too will be in trouble."

Haider met with the Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK and asked for protection for his family "because I have two daughters and a wife, so I want to be safe." Pakistan's sports minister has said, however, that the government will not support Haider's bid for asylum. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also suspended his stipend contract and launched a full inquiry into the case.


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