Pak keeper Haider hopes to inspire others to make “good stand for good cricket”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

LONDON - Troubled Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has expressed his hope that other young professionals will be inspired by his stand against corruption and follow his example.

“I need to suggest to all the players, all my team mates and all the world players, they need to make a good stand for good cricket,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Haider, as saying to BBC radio.

“We need a good image in the people’s hearts for our cricket,” he added.

The troubled wicketkeeper went on to say, “I am making this stand so maybe more youngsters will take this stand for our nation, for our Pakistan and for all cricket…I think I am going the right way to stop these things.”

He said that he believed corruption was rife within cricket.

“I can’t talk with my (team) mates right now. I don’t know if they will appreciate me or not but I am going in the right way so one day you will see, time by time, it will be better,” he said.

Explaining the reason behind his sudden decision to flee to London and claim asylum there, the player said, “I have been coming to the UK for 10 years so I have a lot of English and Pakistani friends here. They always treat me as a human being and human rights is very good here.”

“When I arrived at Heathrow Airport, they asked me about these things… They said if you need to come into the UK, enter the UK, you need a reason or background for that, so I just told them what happened with me in Dubai, so they said ‘what do you want now?’

“So that’s why I’m taking asylum there. I said I don’t want any help from government under your immigration, like a house and money, I don’t want that. Give me permission to play cricket,” he added.

Haider said that he did not know whether he would play the sport again at any level. “I just have retired from international cricket. I don’t know what will happen next.”

On Monday morning just hours before Pakistan were scheduled to play their ODI series decider against South Africa, Haider had quietly slipped out of the Grand Hyatt in Dubai and boarded a London-bound flight. The player had not even discussed his plans with any of his team officials or fellow teammates.

Announcing his sudden decision to bow out from international cricket, the wicketkeeper told a news channel that he was receiving threats from an unknown person, and thus he decided to leave Dubai immediately and went to London, where he is now seeking asylum. (ANI)

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