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Haider: I didn't know who to believe

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Zulqarnain Haider explains why he left
  • Runaway Pakistan wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider said he exited the team because he felt threatened
  • Haider kept silent about his refusal to fix matches because he did not know who to believe
  • "I felt that if I told anyone about the threat ... they too will be in trouble"
  • Pakistan Cricket Board suspends Haider's central contract

(CNN) -- The Pakistan wicket-keeper, who controversially left his team during a series with South Africa after reportedly refusing to fix a match, spoke exclusively to CNN on Wednesday about the reasons for his departure.

Zulqarnain Haider, 24, who flew to Britain on Monday because he feared reprisals following his decision, said that he kept silent about what had happened until he was in London because he did not know who to trust.

"I listened to people in Pakistan who talked about the match fixing [problem], they said that a lot of people are involved and I felt threatened ... and very disappointed," Haider said.

"I know I can't believe anyone. If you got threatened then you would then not believe people either. If I told anyone, they may have contact with these people [involved in match-fixing], so this could cause a problem for my family in Pakistan and also me in Dubai.

I just felt that if I told anyone about the threat - senior players, my manager, the cricket board - maybe if they are involved in the situation they too will be in trouble
--Zulqarnain Haider

"I just felt that if I told anyone about the threat - senior players, my manager, the cricket board - maybe if they are involved in the situation they too will be in trouble," Haider added.

Blog: Cricket authorities need to get a grip fast

Haider spoke with CNN after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced Wednesday that they had suspended his central contract while they investigated his walkout.

A statement on the board website said Haider had breached his contract by leaving the team without informing the management.

The board said that a three-man "fact-finding" committee would try to establish the reasons for his disappearance.

The committee will include former Test player Intikhab Alam, the team manager.

The statement added: "The PCB is trying to get in touch with Mr. Haider but the attempts to contact him have so far remained unsuccessful.

"No further comments on this matter will be made till further information is available with PCB."

Haider told CNN that losing his central contract was of little importance to him.

"I'm not worried about losing the central contract because only God gives you food as a human being. I will leave these decisions to cricket."

Haider, who has played for Pakistan at all levels, scored the winning runs in the fourth one-day international against South Africa in Dubai.

It leveled the series at 2-2, but having fled to London he did not play as South Africa won the decider by 57 runs.

Haider is believed to be seeking political asylum in England and he told CNN that he felt it was the "best country to go to."

He added: "It was my decision to come to London because of [Britain's} reputation for human rights."

But Pakistan's sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani said his government would block any move by Haider to get asylum in the United Kingdom.

"We don't support his actions and believe he should have come to us if he was under threat from anyone," he told gathered reporters.

"If he is such a weak and scared person he should not have played cricket in the first place, particularly not for the national team," he added.

Pakistan cricket has been dogged by allegations of corruption and three of Haider's former teammates have been suspended while the International Cricket Council investigates a "spotfixing" scandal in the recent Test series in England.