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Haider faced threats over domestic game

Karachi: Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, who announced his retirement from international cricket over death threats for refusing to cooperate with match-fixers, has claimed that he had received threats while playing in domestic cricket also.

In an interview to Geo News television channel on Tuesday, Haider said he had received threats to include certain players in his team in domestic matches.

“Yes, I have got threats that I should play such-and-such a player, or not, over matches,” he said.

Interestingly, Haider was removed as the captain of the Lahore Eagles team in March last year just before a match against National Bank in a domestic one-day tournament that later became a talking point.

Apparently, Haider, who had led the Lahore team in the national one-day competition until that match, refused to be part of a conspiracy to “fix” that game as National Bank, one of the strongest and most influential teams on the domestic circuit, needed to win it and also improve its run-rate to qualify for the final.

What transpired in the match was sensational. The Lahore team first scored 122 in 40.3 overs, with Haider getting out for a duck. Then National Bank responded with 123 for no loss in only 6.1 overs! Salman Butt scored 92 off just 25 balls, hitting an amazing 16 fours and four sixes. Lahore's Usman Sarwar went for 78 runs in three overs, and that match remains his only game for Lahore to date.

National Bank qualified for the final and was beaten by PIA in the summit clash.

After the match, Haider was sacked as captain, allegedly because he had refused to go with the script and field Sarwar.

Although there were media reports and questions raised over the legality of that match the PCB later said it had found no evidence of foul play. Kamran Akmal, Muhammad Amir and Wahab Riaz also featured for National Bank in the match. — PTI

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