Tuesday, November 09, 2010, Zulhaj 02, 1431 A.H  
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 Zulqarnain announces retirement from international cricket

 Updated at: 1454 PST,  Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Zulqarnain announces retirement from international cricket KARACHI: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who reached London yesterday in mysterious way has announced, in a telephonic talk with Geo News today, his retirement from international cricket.

Zulqarnain Haider quit international cricket on Tuesday saying he feared for his safety after being ordered to cooperate with match-fixers during the recent one-day series with South Africa.

He said that he is writing to the Pakistan Cricket Board in this regard.

Talking with Geo News from London, he said that he was receiving threats from an unknown person and thus he decided to leave Dubai immediately and went to London where he is seeking an asylum.

Zulqarnain, 24, who said he had fled the team hotel before the start of the fifth one-dayer on Monday in Dubai and reached London hours later, told the Geo News channel he felt unable to continue in the Pakistan team after being approached by a person who asked him to fix the fourth and fifth one-dayers.

"I have decided it is best for me to retire from international cricket since my family and I are constantly getting threats," he said.

"It is best for me to step down because I can't play in these circumstances. But I would like to continue to play domestic cricket."

Zulqarnain, who scored an unbeaten 19 and hit the winning runs in the fourth one-dayer on Friday, left the team hotel hours before the fifth one-day match eventually won by South Africa who took the series 3-2.

He landed in London hours after leaving Dubai and spent almost four hours locked in discussions with immigration authorities before finally emerging from Heathrow airport.

"I was told to cooperate or I would face lot of problems," Zulqarnain said.

"This person approached me while I had gone out of the hotel for dinner. He told me cooperate with us and you can make a lot of money.

"He said, 'If you don't cooperate you will no longer be part of the team and we can make life very difficult for you'."

Zulqarnain said he had not yet decided whether to seek political asylum in Britain.

"I have not thought about this, I don't even have enough money to hire a lawyer, my only concern now is the security of my family in Lahore," he said.

Zulqarnain, who has played just one test and four ODIs, said he had gone to London because he felt safe there and knew that in Britain the law protected those in the right.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Monday the player had not informed them he was planning to leave the hotel nor had he told them the reason for his sudden decision.

"I was not confident enough to speak to the team management about it because I didn't want to get my other team mates into trouble," Zulqarnain said.
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