Pakistan team officials have reported Zulqarnain Haider as missing to police and also to the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and security unit. The same unit helped investigate an alleged betting scandal involving three Pakistan players during a test match against England in August.
PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told The Associated Press that Haider, who was the key to his team’s victory over South Africa on Friday, “was not in the squad” for the final match at Dubai International Cricket Ground.
“Inquiries are underway,” Sarwar said, adding that an official statement would be forthcoming. “He has said something on his Facebook page but that is about it. Otherwise, he has not informed us.”
The ICC refused to comment on Haider and a Dubai police spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
Geo television in Pakistan reported that it received a text message from Haider in which he said he was leaving for England in the next two hours and that his family would be provided with security back in Pakistan. It was impossible to verify the authenticity of that text message or the whereabouts of Haider.
On Haider’s Facebook page, he wrote about seven hours ago that he was “leaving Pakistan cricket because (he) got bad message from one man to lose the last game.”
Haider scored the winning run in the fourth ODI against South Africa on Friday to clinch a one—wicket victory for Pakistan that leveled the five—match series 2—2.
Haider’s brother Aqeel Haider told Geo that he has not had any contact with his brother Monday and was “praying for him.”
“I spoke to him last night, but he did not say anything about threats,” he said. “I have not received any SMS or telephone call from him. He has not contacted with any of the family member as yet. We tried to contact him in the hotel too, but didn’t succeed.”
The disappearance of Haider is the latest setback for a Pakistan team that has been troubled by matters off the pitch.
On Sunday, Pakistan’s team manager Intikhab Alam told The Associated that Haider and two other players had been fined for breaking curfew during the team’s series with South Africa.
Alam said opener Shahzaib Hasan, spinner Abdul Rehman and wicketkeeper Haider were fined 500 dirhams ($136) for staying out late in Abu Dhabi where the series began last month. Alam said Sunday that all three would be available to play Monday.
In August, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were accused of involvement in an alleged betting scandal during a test match in England.
The ICC described the allegations against the trio as the sport’s biggest fixing scandal in decade. It charged the trio with corruption in September and suspended them after a British tabloid sting alleged money was paid for bowling no—balls at prearranged times against England to fix spot betting markets.
Associated Press writer Rizwan Ali in Islamabad contributed to this report.
Keywords: Zulqarnain Haider