ICC urges players to speak up after Haider threats

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/i/icclogo.jpg' class='caption'> Cricket's governing body called for more co-operation from international cricketers.

Updated: November 09, 2010 17:23 IST
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Cricket's governing body on Tuesday called for more co-operation 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, yesterday fled to London without telling the team management and Anti-corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) of the threats.

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

"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.

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. Their recent tour of England was marred by spot-fixing scandal, resulting in the provisional suspension of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohamad Asif.

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

The 24-year-old wicketkeeper told a Pakistani news channel Geo today 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 one-day in Dubai on Friday.

Haider also announced his retirement from international cricket.

Lorgat said Haider 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 as well 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 instill, 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."

Lorgat denied the ICC was only targetting Pakistani players.

"ICC is not targetting Pakistani players, that's not true. We have asked every country on dealing with corruption, but we do recognise that Pakistan had got a greater challenge for whatever reasons and we want to try and understand their problems fully and support them."

Lorgat denied the ICC had sent any directives to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on the selection of Kamran Akmal -- under match-fixing suspicions -- and Danish Kaneria -- cleared from spot-fixing allegations in a county match last year.

"I don't comment on selection and that's purely a matter for PCB," said Lorgat of the two players. Kamran was not selected for the series against South Africa despite recovering from appendicitis operation.

Kaneria, initially selected in the Test squad, was withdrawn after the PCB did not give him clearance.

"The ICC don't give directives on who should be selected in the team, what we are clear about is the process they (every member country) need to do to ensure that they are satisfied with the integrity of their players," added Lorgat.

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