Confusion surrounding threats to young Pakistani cricketer
Total confusion now surrounds the future of young Zulqarnain Haider. The Pakistan cricketer is believed to be holed up in a Heathrow hotel but his family have told Channel 4 News he is not considering applying for asylum and does not want his family to come to the UK.
They say that a man, believed to be Indian, approached Zulqarnain in Dubai and made death threats unless he affected the result of an upcoming game.
They told us that threats were also made to kidnap family members in Pakistan. That is why Zulcarnain refused to discuss the nature of those threats when interviewed for GEO TV in Pakistan.
A lot of curiosity surrounds what is going on. There is a lot of raising of eyebrows around this case.
For instance the former Pakistani team spokesman PJ Mir told me: “This does not make any sense. This boy is a nonentity – a nobody – why on earth would anyone want to intimidate someone who is barely in the squad?”
Whatever the reasons, a young man who hit the winning runs against South Africa, now says he will quit the game altogether.
The mystifying aspect to all this is that cricket’s Watchdog, the ICC, is based in Dubai, where the Pakistan team have been playing.
They all had a big briefing from the ICC about what to do if you get any kind of threat. I will lay good money that the ICC protocol does not include: “Scarper to the UK if you are under pressure to throw two matches”.
The briefing went on for an hour and a half. It was detailed. It was specific.
Haider says he is “in hiding” but “not on a detention centre”. And at 24 he says he has quit international cricket.
Curiouser and curiouser.