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Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Zulqarnain Haider 'making stand over match-fixing'


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Half our fans have lost faith - Haider

Pakistan cricketer Zulqarnain Haider says he fled to London and went public with his match-fixing concerns to help stamp out corruption in the sport.

"I needed to make a stand for cricket," said Haider in an exclusive interview with BBC Sports Editor David Bond.

Haider quit the team base in Dubai on Monday after receiving death threats when he refused to fix two games.

"I think over time people will stop following cricket if they think matches are fixed," the 24-year-old added.

Haider was asked to fix the fourth and fifth games against South Africa, who went on to win Monday's deciding game to earn a 3-2 victory in the series.

He told the story of how he was threatened by an unknown man as he was leaving the team hotel in Dubai to go out for dinner.

Haider describes match-fixing death threats

"He said 'If you work with us we will give you a lot of money," Haider explained. "'If you can't help us you will not continue your cricket. When you go to Pakistan we will kill you and your family also.'"

Haider, who has played one Test and seven limited-overs internationals for Pakistan, said he was desperate to restore the integrity and reputation of a sport which be believes has already lost the faith of half of its followers.

"I think 50% of people trust cricket and 50% don't," he said. "It's very bad. That's why sponsors are not trusting cricket. I think cricket needs to stop match-fixing to get the sponsors in."

Haider hit the winning runs in last Friday's fourth one-day win over South Africa but then left Pakistan's team hotel suddenly on Monday morning and flew to London without even collecting his £3,000 payment from the match.

His contract has since been terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

DAVID BOND'S BLOG

Haider, who first outlined his concerns at a press conference on Wednesday, said he was feeling "more relaxed" after meeting Pakistan's High Commissioner in London on Thursday.

He said he was not worried about money and would seek to play league cricket and coach children in the United Kingdom.

As a "proud Pakistani", he said he was determined to improve the image of his country's cricket team after the spot-fixing scandal which overshadowed their tour of England earlier this year.

Batsman Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been suspended from all cricketing activities and are under investigation for allegedly agreeing to fix certain passages of play during the Test series.

"I am trying to build my image and my family's image and my country's image," said Haider.

"We have a lot of good people in Pakistan. I am making this stand for Pakistan and for all cricket."



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see also
Cricketers don't trust ICC - May
11 Nov 10 |  Pakistan
Haider wants to 'live in peace'
11 Nov 10 |  Pakistan
Pakistan's year in crisis
09 Nov 10 |  Pakistan
Cricketer Haider may seek asylum
09 Nov 10 |  South Asia
South Africa win Pakistan decider
08 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Pakistan suspend trio's contracts
03 Nov 10 |  Pakistan
England finish off tarnished Test
29 Aug 10 |  England
Pakistan lose injured Zulqarnain
16 Aug 10 |  Pakistan
Pakistan v South Africa (in UAE) 2010
25 Nov 10 |  Cricket


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