Pakistan news April 28, 2011

Bookies behind threats to Haider arrested

ESPNcricinfo staff

Police in Pakistan said that they have arrested a number of bookmakers they believe to be behind the death threats made to Zulqarnain Haider, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper.

According to local reports, police arrested up to eight men in Sialkot. "We have arrested eight bookies and some of them have revealed they were behind threats to Haider," police official Nasir Qureshi told AFP. "We have confiscated their data which has a number of international contacts and the investigation is still on. We have found a number of satellite telephones and diaries which have international contacts and we hope to get further details in the next 24 hours," he added.

Four of the arrested were produced before a local judge, according to the Dawn, who has placed them in three-day remand with the officers.

Haider returned to Pakistan earlier this week from London, where he had fled last November after claiming to have been threatened by bookies in Dubai during Pakistan's ODI series with South Africa. Haider left the team on the morning of the final ODI, without informing the team or board officials, and landed in London, where he immediately claimed asylum.

But he revoked his asylum application and returned to Islamabad on Monday after being given security assurances by the Pakistan government. Days before his return, Haider said he had received more calls from people who threatened him should he return. At least one call was recorded and broadcast on local TV channels.

Haider announced his retirement from the game in London and said on his return that he was still undecided over his playing future. He will first have to resume contact with the PCB and answer the questions a fact-finding committee set up by the board to look into his case had asked of him. A board official told ESPNcricinfo that numerous efforts had been made to get in touch with the player while he was in London, but that he hadn't responded to them. In the last communication, Haider is understood to have told the PCB that he doesn't want to speak to them about the matter, but when he arrived in Islamabad he said he would contact Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman.