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I Salute, Zulqarnain Haider for not selling Pakistan to Cricketing Bookies

In what may seem to have been a huge controversy yesterday just before the start of Pakistan vs South Africa‘s 5th and final One Day International in Dubai. Zulqarnain Haider a new wicket keeper for Pakistan quietly skipped out early that morning from Dubai taking to London. Amidst the massive match fixing controversy that has plagued Pakistan Cricket this last year, it seemed that Zulqarnain Haider may too have also fallen astray.

A day later after reaching London he briefly talked to reporters and was guarded in admitted to have been receiving threats from one un-named person to influnence the 4th ODI, which Pakistan spectacularly won two days earlier, and the pressure was on him again to influence the 5th ODI as a pay-back. The only way he thought best was to skip out of Dubai as he could not sell his country, to have said on cricinfo

“The fourth ODI, the things I was told to do I didn’t, and the fifth ODI, what they wanted done I didn’t do,” Haider said. “That is why I did what seemed right to me and I came here. I can’t tell what kind of threats I received to the country because my family is still in Pakistan.”

When asked further about the nature of these threats and who they might have come from, Haider was unwilling and unable to reveal much more. “I am not accusing anyone of being a match-fixer. I only got one guy telling me that if you can’t do this or that, there will be problems, or fix the fourth of fifth ODI. I don’t want to say who it is, neither do I know so much about who it is. I have only played two-three ODIs.” Asked specifically if he thought players within the team were involved, he said, “I am not saying they are or are not. Only God knows that. But I did what I thought was better for everyone. I just didn’t want to sell my country, my mother. The country is like your mother and if you sell that you are nothing.

Haider also confirmed that he took his passport from the team management on the pretext of buying a SIM card for his mobile and left on Monday morning. Questions have been raised by a number of former players and board officials themselves about why he didn’t approach the board first to report the threats, as is required by the anti-corruption code of conduct. “I felt if I told them, it would get worse for me and my family so I thought to come here. I know about British rules as I have been coming here for the last nine to ten years. They protect you.”

For him to say “I just didn’t want to sell my country, my mother. The country is like your mother and if you sell that you are nothing.” Brings me to tears, I for one, Salute this Pakistani to have had the gutts to stand up against corruption, many have and he too could have, easily succumbed to these match fixing threats for his own vested personal interest, but he didn’t

Many criticize him for not reporting this to his Cricket board, but considering the mess PCB is already in, I for one would also not trust them even for a moment, the decision he made must have been difficult, but I can totally understand the logic with which he had to choose a safe haven, even Dubai is not safe for these sharks, and in the UK he can have some degree of protection

I issue an appeal to all Pakistanis, join hands and we MUST protect and defend him and his family from any persecution. He refused to barter the name of Pakistan, why should he feel insecure to have done us proud. I also hope that such shinning examples must be celebrated and brought back into cricket, even if he has announced retirement, maybe this is just the moral uplifting that our team and our country needs, shinning examples of people who condemn corruption, and uphold the sporting spirit above anything else, he did so merely not in words but risked his career to save Pakistan

Zulqarnain ….. I SALUTE YOU, Pakistan Salutes you


35 Comments

  • shobz |

    Doc i am really glad you wrote this post. I totally agree with what you say. This is the point I also made on twitter earlier. Someone asked me why he didn't report this to the ICC and had to run off to London. The ICC wouldn't be able to offer him security if he reported this. I am sure he fears for his family and if I were in his shoes I wouldn't know what to do. I also agree that the British Government will offer him better protection than the Pakistani Government. Dubai isn't exactly a safe haven. I am sure we all remember what happened over there when Israeli Agents murdered one of their opponents in a hotel there. I don't think it was silly of him and he made the right move. Somehow I believe what he is saying and all the details will be revealed when the time is right.

    It is sad that some people are already labeling him as a traitor and agent set up to destroy Pakistani cricket. Why do we resort to the blame game when these things happen? There is the possibility it is true and we shouldn't ask for a ban or strict measures to be taken against him. Let him come out with the facts. I understand the pressure he is against and he fears for his family. I hope we learn the truth soon and some action is taken. We need to save Pak Cricket before all these corrupt elements ruin it.

  • F.K |

    Should we get all patriotic before we know the facts? He can name the person and the people involved…. why does he not do that? His actions seem to indicate the whole team is involved…is this not casting a shadow on us? The uk is safe by any means. I think something very messed up is going on in our cricket.

    • Teeth Maestro |

      FK – WhistleBlowers need Security as a priority before the start spilling the beans. If he sees security in UK – I say good, being in Dubai or in Pakistan would have been suicidal – You know that – if the whole team is involved then let the games begin. we are already in a mess, I say lets explode this balloon and not let it keep growing

      If he has taken this step – then please support him, lets not doubt his intentions and I feel he has done us a favor – our country can not be held hostage to these corrupt players any more

  • shobz |

    I don't think he can do anything till he is sure his family has protection. How secure will he feel knowing that if he takes names that his family wont be affected?

    • Brumby |

      And who can guarantee that? Shouldn’t he be with his family if is he is so concerned about their safety? He is just another Pakistani doing what we Pakistani do best, Lie, cheat, act like a victim in order to get asylum in UK.

  • umair |

    your view maybe true but if he could have stayed and not been such a pussy .. played his way through .. that would have been the best revenge .. his running our and skipping just before time shows something else… his arguments arent clear .. just because some one messages me doesnt mean that i pussy out .. there is a much more deep meaning to all this which can not be explained by the current explanation and news of the events. He running to england and saying that he wants his family there also shows a misguided path to say the least.. i am not at all believing in the string of events and would rather want him in jail and scrutinized for what he did.

    • Brumby |

      I am ready to bet he has some other motives and made-up most, if not all, this story. If he is telling the truth, than he is just a coward as most of us Pakistanis.

    • faiz |

      @BRUMBY you seem to be a bloody india. how can you call we Pakistan's coward. I am very sure that there is a hidden agenda behind this allegation. I think India or the US is behind this, they want to spoil our image.The investigation will reveal that it was a Indian bookie shame on India and shame on you people how say that we are coward.

  • Inspirex |

    he has the right to his views. And his story must be heard. However, I will still say that what he did will not help him. It is perfectly natural to not trust the PCB. But there was nothing stopping him, giving a signed statement to ICC before walking off. he made a big mistake by disappearing completely and being only in touch with a reporter. If he had contacted the ICC before he left, he would be in a much better position.

  • Ali |

    This is one of my favorite blogs that has gained respect due to unbiased and fair views.

    However, I fail to find wisdom behind today's post. As for now, it is not known he is really going to stand up against bookies or not. What is known is that he fled without telling i) team management, ii) PCB, iii) ICC, iv) Dubai Police and that he did on few text messages and a person's conversation which is not verified at the moment.

    Finally, his going to UK, seeking political asylum and then saying he did not have any proofs against current Pakistan team only means he just have really weak nerves, he got scared and just did this for his 'ownself' and 'his family' – as for Pakistan, he left team in shock and we got defeated.

    • OPtimist |

      I don't agree with u Ali.

      As far as Haider is concerned he should have told to officials about situation but according to him he was in big trouble after.

      I the meanwhile he is a patriotic young Pakistani. I salute him too, his family pushed in the hut so for the security threat that was the only reason forced him to leave Dubai immediately, I would say.

    • yaseen ch |

      He is a bright young Pakistani who just dont have much greed for money i think. We still have akmals to drown Pakistan.

    • ali |

      all you guys out thr and specially ali..

      if you guys think cricket is clean and our team is not involved in match fixing.. then m sorry guys but all of you are wrong.. we didnt lose that match because of anyone.. they were told to lose that match.

      and they just don't lose it like tht.. make make good runs in front make people bet on them.. on better betting rates and then lose the match as planned.. if any one does not agree then email me @ [email protected].. ill tell you how tht works and who is contacts wth which bookie.. so chill out boys and grls.. cricket is all about gambling.. and 50% of the players out in the world of so called cricket.. fix match or are involved in spot fixing..

      cheers..

  • Ali |

    Dear @Optimist

    There are code of conducts, procedures and rules. Being concerned about your safety doesn't mean you do anything you like.

    Secondly, I don't understand linking this thing with patriotism. Guy did this for his own safety, not for Pakistan.

    • Brumby |

      How is he safer in England? Also, if he is more concerned about his family why didn’t he go to his family to protect them. He is nobody who wants to cash his fifteen minute of fame to fast. Stay tuned…. he is going to as embarrassing as the trio accused of match fixing. Things people do to get out of Pakistan.

  • no |

    that was nothing but a topy-drama to claim asylum in UK

    don't get carried away with it

    • Brumby |

      @Zain, I have the golden bridge to for sale. would you like to buy it from me?

  • Kedayshi |

    well what ever he has done is right.

    we can talk a lot about icc rules and bla bla bla… but the rules and laws are followed in educated govts.

    the biggest corrupt person is the president of the country then how come can we expect anything better for us or for the people like zulqarnain.

    and the people who say that he is coward, better you put urselves in his shoes and then think that how strong eggs do u hold to sacrifice ur family for any cause ???

    the biggest coward is Mr. butt who was sitting in his room and didn't face the media and at the end ran away through back door. or there may be a possibility that Mr. butt was drunk thats why he did not come out.

    if you people want to take assumptions then i would say that Mr. Butt went to Dubai to fix the final rather than watching it and he succeeded.

    if Zulqarnain is saying that he received threats, he wont say that someone threaten him face to face cuz then surely he will be forced to tell about the person. so the simple way to avoid this problem is to tell that he received msgs through phone.

    if he wanted to go to UK then there were a lot of other ways. county could have open their gates for him cuz he showed that he can handle the pressure. going to UK in such a way is just a gamble cuz he resigned from cricket. if you people think that he is such an intelligent man then he wont apply such an idiotic approach.

    i wont say that i salute him or he is patriot or he raised his voice against criminal act because still there are many more things to be revealed. so far, according to the news and information about this issue, i would say whatever he has done is right.

  • yaseen ch |

    I think Pakistani Nation salutes Zulqernain Haider who at least thought about Pakistan and thats the spirit every Pakistani should have.

  • Dr.Jawwad Khan |

    Dr.Sahib,

    I don't think that the issue is crystal clear at this present moment.There are many questions which have been raised and still unanswered.

    Saying that;

    "I just didn’t want to sell my country, my mother. The country is like your mother and if you sell that you are nothing" sounds like a filmi dialogue to me.

    A Pakistani can't sell his mother,most of us can't sell our country but i am sure in his position almost all of us wont say no to the match fixing money.It is our culture and it is our practice.We are all thieves.In given situation any Pakistani will do the same or if one is religious than one would remain silent and shall not accept the money.

    The claim that England is more secure than UAE is also dubious. Dr.Imran Farooq is murdered recently and investigations are still not conclusive.

    Some believe that it is an attempt to take asylum in UK.whatever the reason may be,Pakistan govt: should launch a thorough investigation.

    In my humble opinion,he has been manipulated by the people who are trying hard to defame Pakistan and destroy the Pakistani cricket.

  • Teeth Maestro |

    It is my belief that in the chain of match fixing he was the weakest link, new into the team, yes not that important but important enough to start nurturing and ensuring that he starts to comply, I believe Pakistan Cricket Team is brimful of exclusive contacts with the betting mafia. There is no doubt. Assuming that he was NOT important it wrong, he says that the 4th ODI he did not deliver, and the pressure may have surmounted beyond his own capacity that he fled however best he could manage in that critical time.

    Picture this for a moment, you are being pushed to commit a crime, your family is threatened, what do you do!!! you and I would naturally approach the authorities, in his case, if he knows that PCB and bookies in Dubai [which are abundant] the only way he may have thought was to run to somewhere he could seek safety. UK may have been a wrong choice, but self preservation is the only way.

    Playing the 5th ODI for him was not an option, If I too were confronted with bartering my country's name vs throwing away my career but self preservation of the name of my country. It would have been a tough choice, even for me, but in this corrupt day and age – my country is my soul.

    If he is a whistle blower then my hats off to him, if he spills the beans enough to nab a few key people I say he would have done us proud. To play or not ….. ;) I would have more confidence in a self righteous man loosing a match then doubt our playing 11 who may been under the influence each series in and each series out. If he is a whistle blower DO NOT condemn him.. do not persecute him for standing up.

    how can we inspire other whistleblowers in our bureacracry to step up and stop the mahem that is happening in our country. The finger pointing has to start someplace

    • no |

      your family is being 'threatened' and you run away to london .. this does not happen

      you don't leave your wife,kids and parents on the mercy of the bookie mafia

      if there was some real threat than I am sure he would have come to Pakistan to secure his family

      and being in Dubai he had no reason to run away to London, Dubai is a safe place , they even revealed the moosad agents who killed the hamas guy

    • Teeth Maestro |

      I too am just toeing what he is saying, if he is right in even the fact that he was being pressured I salute him for NOT TAKING this shit.

      I support him more in terms of standing up…. SOMEONE has to put the country before their fat wallet, many righteous people do that everyday, but very rarely do we see it from people in a position of influence

  • quli |

    @teeth – Have to disagree with you on this one. Its a crappy stance to go seek asylum. He could have simply flew back to Pakistan and stated what he did, that would have been standing for ones belief and being a man about it.

    My experience with such individuals in the past leads me to take a stance of throwing their asses in a dungeon on their return back to the country.

  • Cricketer |

    Let me point out here that a player who had the courage and calmnness to play two remarkable innings for Pakistan will not act irrationally. A brief analysis will open our minds to some facts.

    ZH was sent home after remarkable test performance from England?????

    This time he refused to be sidelined, hence the resort to such bully tactics.

    Who could harrass him? Well THE MANAGEMENT. When this did not work the ‘FRIENDS’ of the Management were asked to do the job.

    Who are the FRIENDS? The BOOKIES.

    Who benefits? Akmal clan.

    Could they be ADVANCEMEN for the Bookies?

    Your guess is as good as mine.Now where does PCB APPEAR.Sadly nowhere.Does that mean BOOKIES are running cricket in Pakistan? Again your guess is as good as mine.

    So God help us.

  • farrahshah |

    I am very sad actually on this incident .It is a dream come true to be an International Cricketer and to play so good .

    I feel gutted that after being there one is bullied into seeking asylem and abandoning the dream job.

    It has not happened to this Cricketer alone.

    How many people face this bully and harrasment and suffer in silence .

    Putup or Shut up .I am glad he exposed it BUT Pakistan must improve .

    World Class cricketer resigns because of bullies ?Who protects us ?No one?

  • NMC |

    ICC = International Cricket Corruption led by Sharad Powar, to whom Indians have said on rediff that hez a king of corruption during his tenure as head of BCCI considered to be the richest politician in India, how he became richest pol of India? Ostensibly thru corruption now became ICC head and his task is to demoralize Pakistan cricket and its players

    They are gamblers and bookies came into being since advent of T20 cricket. T20 is root of all corruption, must be closed down and conventional cricket must get going else no one or at least I have no passion to watch corrupt-cricket

    • raja |

      He iz zero and trying to become hero . Is there any proof . few days back he was so fearful and suddenly he became so brave and blunt saying every thing against fixers, why he is not afraid now even when his family still in stake , he iz just a drama writer. he was never a match winner so why fixer will contact him . a time will come when he will start selling his fake stories to biased english media , they will support him just to demolish pak cricket.As far as salman , amir ,asif is concerned the police using delaying tactics , why they r still unable to provide proofs bcoz they dont have any , but they r trying to make new laws which can fatal for trio. As they know that now if they dont provide any strong evidence there will be a big question mark on them for taking so harmful action against national heroes of pakistan .