Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who fled Dubai for London after receiving threats during the ODI series against South Africa in the UAE, has said that he had been threatened while playing domestic cricket in Pakistan as well.
Speaking to Geo, a leading Pakistani news channel, Haider said he had been told to include particular players in his team. "Yes I have got threats that I should play so and so player, or not play that player,'' he said.
Haider's comments have put the spotlight on a match between Lahore Eagles and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) during the Royal Bank of Scotland Cup in 2008-09. Haider was removed as Lahore's captain ahead of that match, which NBP needed to win convincingly to improve their net run-rate and qualify for the semi-final.
Lahore batted first and were dismissed for 122 in 40.3 overs with Haider making a two-ball duck. NBP chased down the target with all wickets intact in only 6.1 overs. Salman Butt, who is currently provisionally suspended by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing, scored 92 off 25 balls, hitting 16 fours and four sixes. One of Lahore's bowlers, the debutant Usman Sarwar, conceded 78 runs in three overs in what remains his only List A game. There were media reports and questions raised over the unusual result but the PCB said it had found nothing untoward about the match.