Lahore: May 12, 2011
Within months of announcing retirement citing death threats from match-fixers, Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has reversed his decision, claiming that the situation has changed.
Zulqarnain, who returned home after fleeing the team hotel in Dubai last November to London, told the media that he had taken the decision to come out of retirement in national interest and he was now available for all cricket.
"I have reversed my decision to retire from all cricket after consulting my family and friends and because of the changed situation now," he said.
The wicketkeeper had fled the team hotel during a one-day series against South Africa in the UAE last year and landed in London seeking asylum after claiming that he had been given threats by an unknown person for not cooperating in fixing the series.
After staying in London for the last six months, he finally returned home after meeting interior minister Rehman Malik who assured him of full security in Pakistan.
Zulqarnain, while announcing his retirement in London, had said that he took the decision to pinpoint the corrupt elements prevalent in Pakistan cricket.
After his return to Pakistan, security agencies arrested four suspected bookmakers in Sialkot who confessed to making threatening calls to Zulqarnain.
Until now the police has given no explanation why the bookmakers had threatened the wicketkeeper.
"I took a decision in national interest but now after getting assurances from the government I want to play cricket again at every level," Zulqarnain said.
He said so far he had not been able to meet with the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board to discuss his future.
The PCB has made it clear that Zulqarnain has to first respond in writing to the notice it had sent him last year for fleeing the team hotel without informing the team management.