Pakistan news December 24, 2010

No clear motives behind Haider flight - report


A fact-finding committee set-up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to look into the flight of Zulqarnain Haider to the UK from Dubai has failed to find any clear motives behind his actions.

The three-member committee of Subhan Ahmed (COO, PCB), manager Intikhab Alam and security manager Khawaja Najam has ultimately recommended that the board "should write to Haider seeking complete written details of the entire episode and in light of those details [if received], may decide on whether to proceed with taking disciplinary action against him".

The board has already suspended the now retired wicketkeeper's central contract.

The committee's report, seen by ESPNcricinfo, is based on conversations the three members had with Haider and others from the squad. "It is difficult to say with complete confidence at this stage as to what were the motives [behind the departure]," it concludes. But one of its observations seemingly offers a hint: "Some close associates of Haider, when contacted in UK, advised that during his last visit to UK with Pakistan team this summer, he had made enquiries on settling down in UK."

Further light is also shed on events leading to his departure after claiming he was threatened by bookies during Pakistan's one-day series against South Africa last month.

For example, the night before he left, seamer Wahab Riaz had been in Haider's room till midnight. "His view was that Haider was normal and did not look worried," the report says. "He did not discuss anything with Wahab with whom he was quite friendly."

The report also confirms that Haider asked the team management for his passport on the pretext of buying a mobile SIM card on the eve of the fourth ODI, a game in which he subsequently played a late, key role in securing a win.

The last members of the squad to see Haider before his flight were the assistant manager Shahid Aslam and Younis Khan, who saw him walking out of his hotel room with a backpack on the morning of the fifth ODI. He told them he was going to visit relatives in the city.

According to the report, Haider told the committee that he received the first threat two days before the fourth ODI. "When he was walking in the parking area of the hotel, he met a person who said to him he must do what he is told to do in cricket else he and his family would be killed.

"He didn't recognize the person who had met him 2 days before the fourth ODI. He didn't see the person or hear from him afterwards."

What appears to have been the tipping point in convincing him to leave, however, came after that. "Later (he did not mention the date) he saw a note in his room which was on the hotel notepad on which some amounts and female names were mentioned." He has since handed over the note to Scotland Yard.

Though the investigation was mostly an exercise in fact-finding, certain questions are raised, echoing earlier concerns by the PCB. "It [his departure] was quite strange because Dubai is as safe a place as UK (perhaps safer), but Haider decided to travel to the UK rather than staying in Dubai or travelling to homeland Pakistan.

"It is also quite strange that in the presence of a full-time security manager of the team and the other PCB officials, Haider deemed it appropriate to approach the media rather than the PCB which is his employer."

Several ex-players and officials questioned Haider's state of mind immediately after he fled, a point the report touches on. "It may be noted that the views of some of the support staff about Haider were that he is a complex personality. He is a person who is easily convinced into believing whatever is said to him. He is also stated to be a weak nerves person."

Haider is still in the UK and is due to appear for another interview with asylum authorities on January 5, before reporting to the police on January 10th.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cool on December 26, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @Ash Pereira : You forgot to mention Shoaib Akhtar's genital warts :D

  • Cool on December 26, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    "No clear motives behind Haider flight" - What's wrong with cricinfo folks? The motive is crystal clear. Unlike the rest of the corrupt pakistani players, he was refusing to take the money, and got threatened instead. He could have got himself killed if he had stayed back. Good on him.

  • Dummy4 on December 26, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    blueriver and ShAh00,

    I totally agreed with you both. I am sure that Srilankan players staged a terror attack on them to destroy the so called Pakistani talent, Aamir took money from a bookie to buy generators for his village, Indian intelligence agency is behind the spot fixing and even the recent earthquake and the floods. One of the Indian astrologer adviced Afridi to try to eat the cricket ball so that he can get more allround ability which I personally saw but Afridi could not eat the ball completely and as a result he is getting out cheaply now a days. Bob Woolmer was silently killed by an Indian agent to tarnish the so called Pakistani talent. The problem in the northwest of Pakistan is solely created by India which is the biggest backer of the taliban. I totally agree with both of your talented mind.. salute you both and I promise that I will forward your names for the Nobel prize in logicology for the next year...

  • Nick on December 26, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Look most members in the pakistan setup are/were involved in some sort of con activity. There are too few clean guys for these kind of opinion based reports to be true. The clean guys distance themselves from going on record about their suspicions on their teammates. Wahab Riaz was seen in recent spot fixing videos and to me that puts his statement in immediate doubt. I dont support Haider but a much reliable investigation from people outside of Pakistan setup is needed.

  • Musa on December 25, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    "It is also quite strange that in the presence of a full-time security manager of the team and the other PCB officials, Haider deemed it appropriate to approach the media rather than the PCB which is his employer." - There is nothing strange about it because it can be seen clearly that Haider did not trust his employer i.e. PCB. Now there could be two reasons behind it and first is Haider didn't trust PCB which means PCB might be involved in corruption and if that is the case then why does everyone want Haider to trust PCB? From Haider's body language about not going to this employer also suggests that the PCB has failed to ensure that it's employees feel protected hence it is a failure on PCB's part. If you are going to say about someone who is weak because he cares about his family then those who are saying that are selfish because they don't care about their families when faced by death threats and they are biggest losers in the world than Haider being a loser.

  • Faraz on December 25, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    This is seem to be decided earlier. Just playing 1 series Haider consider him a BIG STAR who is under Threats!!! This guy is just making foooool to ICC/PCB & all PK fans. One even moe example of Aamir/Asif waht they have did it all came to media & now every one knows the truth, still PCB/ICC trying to give them a safe path!!!If these 2 guys also led to free, corruption in PK CRKT will grow & even make roots to other teams as wel..

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    OMG!!! i cant believe all the support the pcb is getting from the Pakistani public here, some of the comments about haider wanting to be a uk citizen is utter nonsense! There are a million other ways to become a uk citizen, I am sure he could have come up with a better plan if that was his motive! Next u will blame the terror attack on sri lankan team on the sri lankan players???

  • Raymond on December 25, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    This is "gem" of a fact-finding report.....first time I have seen any fact-finding committee publish its findings THEN ask for the written facts from the "culprit"....

  • Tariq on December 25, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    i would like to request all you cricket lovers that never predict by your heart.... see the situation..go through all the points and observe... you will clearly see that pakistan cricket and pakistani cricketers are being targetted.. with out any evidance they are always criminals in cricket .only because they have talent and the cricket world is afraid of that. haider is also one of the page of same story. you can well understand if you will think that the decision about 3 suspended players is on 6th of jan. but our indian media have already anouced the result.. take a corner and think............

  • Touseef on December 25, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    @NICK HYDE: Well, Leave PAKISTAN Cricket to PAKISTANIS... they really know how to play... BTW, Aussies were all out for 80 against PAKISTAN... ICC or Media has suspicion about that ?? England were also bowled out cheaply against Pakistan?? Where is media ?? Sleeping... Zzzzzz As for the Match against Auckland... Bowed Out for 91.. not 92, so 1st of all correct Ur Info, 2nd thing, over the years, We have seen Pakistani Batting having trouble against Moving Ball (Eng & NZ has the best bowling condition for Seam Attack) so, its nothing new. As a Pakistani Cricket Follower, I can tell you in advance, PAKISTAN will have tough time in TEST Matches, ODIs Pakistan will WIN and T-20s, its a 50/50, most probably Pakistan will win 2-1. SO, My Dear Friend, If it comes True, Dont give my Name to SCOTLAND YARD as a BOOKIE :P

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