The Pakistan government has made it clear that it will not assist troubled wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider in his bid to seek asylum in the U.K. after he fled to London midway through a series against South Africa in Dubai citing death threats from match—fixers.
“The government will not support any move from Zulqarnain (Haider) to get asylum in the U.K. We don’t support his actions and believe he should have come to us if he was under threat from anyone. He didn’t have confidence in the national team management or board (PCB),” Pakistan Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani told reporters last night before leaving for Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
“If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team.
“This is not way for a member of the national team to behave or for even a professional cricketer to behave,” he added.
Haider retired from international cricket yesterday, following the threats and has now sought asylum in the U.K. for himself and his family claiming that he was threatened by illegal bookies after he refused to fix the last two one—day internationals against South Africa in Dubai.
The 24—year—old wicket—keeper also claimed in an interview that the person who approached him to fix matches was staying in the team hotel in Dubai.
Mr. Jakhrani also said that the Sports Ministry had already written to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), asking it for a complete report on the incident.
“We don’t want to interfere in the internal matters of the board but we certainly want to know why this has happened as it affects the image of the country,” he said.
“But no doubt this incident has disappointed us.
“Zulqarnain should have come to us for help. We will not support his move to get asylum in the UK,” the minister reiterated.