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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Pakistani police arrest bookies behind threats to keeper

Pakistani police arrest bookies behind threats to keeper

April 27, 2011 20:24 IST

Pakistani police have busted a gang of bookmakers who were behind death threats to wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider, they said on Wednesday.

Haider fled the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai last November hours before a one-day international against South Africa.

He flew to London where he applied for asylum after saying that an unknown person had threatened him for not cooperating in fixing the one-day series.

 Zulqarnain Haider"We arrested eight bookmakers yesterday and some of them have confessed they had the threatening calls made to Zulqarnain," Nasir Qureshi, a senior investigating police officer, told Reuters.

The bookmakers running an illegal den were arrested from the Sambrial area near Sialkot in the eastern province of Punjab.

Haider returned to Islamabad last week after getting reassurances from Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik about his safety and security.

Qureshi said the arrested men appeared to be well-connected and deeply involved in gambling on international matches.

"We have recovered around 250 mobile and landline sets from them, some ammunition, records and computers," he said.

Haider is still in Islamabad and is awaiting security clearance from authorities to go to his hometown of Lahore.

The 25-year old wicketkeeper has been told to appear before the Pakistan Cricket Board disciplinary committee to respond to charges that he left the team without informing the team management, which was a violation of his contract.

Pakistan cricket has been rocked by fixing probes in the last year.

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