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ICC urges players to speak up on threats

DUBAI: Cricket's governing body on Tuesday called for more cooperation from international cricketers after Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider fled the team hotel here claiming he had received death threats.

The 24-year-old Haider, who was here with the Pakistan team to play South Africa, fled to London on Monday without telling the team management and the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the ICC of the threats.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said Haider's case highlighted the importance of sharing information on corruption.

“I think we have to build the confidence amongst the players that the right thing to do is to speak to the ACSU officials if they have got anything that they want to declare,” Lorgat told AFP.

Life bans

The ICC formed ACSU in 2001 a year after match-fixing scandals hit the game badly, ending in life bans on former captains Hansie Cronje (South Africa), Mohammad Azharuddin (India) and Salim Malik (Pakistan).

Pakistan cricket has been rocked by match-fixing and spot-fixing scandals. Its recent tour of England was marred by a spot-fixing scandal, resulting in the provisional suspension of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.

Haider's case once again highlights Pakistan's problems.

The 24-year-old wicketkeeper told a Pakistani news channel on Tuesday that he had received death threats from an unknown person soon after playing a match-winning knock of 19 not out against South Africa in the fourth ODI of the series in Dubai on Friday.

Haider also announced his retirement from international cricket.

Lorgat said Haider had made a mistake by not informing the ACSU of the threats.

“I don't think it was wise of him to have done what he did, because it doesn't solve the problems for him and the right thing would have been to speak to the ACSU,” said the ICC chief executive.

Lorgat said the ICC had sent a statement to all member boards urging them to share information on corruption.

“We have sent declarations to all member countries that players, Board officials and everyone involved has to sign, as part of the process that we want to instil, that deals with corruption in the sport.

“We are serious about rooting corruption out from the game and we want everybody to show good stance and good faith element.” — AFP

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