Zulqarnain Haider reveals ’suspicious’ incident involving Butt, Amir in domestic cricket

Monday, November 15, 2010

LONDON - Runaway wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has revealed a suspicious incident in Pakistan domestic cricket, claiming that Lahore Eagles coach Sajad Akbar had forced him to stand down as captain for the 2009 Royal Bank of Scotland Cup quarterfinal.

Haider claims that he was forced to ‘rest’ from Lahore Eagles’ 50-over match against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on March 28, 2009, which ended in one of the most astonishing results ever recorded.

Lahore Eagles scored 122 from 40.3 overs, while NBP, who had to win convincingly to improve their net run-rate to qualify for the semifinals, replied with 123 for no wicket off 6.1 overs.

Suspended Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt had smashed an unbeaten 92 off 25 balls in the match, which also featured Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir.

Haider recalled the incident in his uncertain English: “One night before, I was captain for my team. They gave the captaincy to another player and said you are not able to do captaincy.”

“The coach said to me, if you do not rest, you will not be playing next year for Lahore,” the Daily Times quoted Haider, as saying.

Earlier, last week, the 24-year-old had fled to London just hours before Pakistan were scheduled to play their ODI series decider against South Africa in Dubai.

The wicketkeeper later revealed that he had taken this extreme step after receiving death threats from match-fixers, and was now seeking asylum in the UK. (ANI)

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