The former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider has made a sensational revelation about the involvement of Umar Akmal in spot-fixing over the years and has insisted that the Pakistani batsman should be banned for life, rather than being handed just a 3-year ban.
Umar Akmal, a few months back, was banned by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for his alleged involvement in match fixing. Umar appealed against it later and the length of the ban was reduced, but it still remained a significant ban, however in Zulqarnain’s opinion, Umar should never be allowed to play cricket again.
According to Zulqarnain, when he was a part of the Pakistan set-up in 2010 and was playing in a series against South Africa, Umar had threatened him once because he had refused to deliberately underperform and lose one of the games he was playing.
Zulqarnain also revealed that it was not just Umar who was threatening him, he was getting calls from unknown people as well who were threatening him and asking him to underform, and he got scared to an extent that he eventually decided to leave UAE without informing the Pakistani team management.
Zulqarnain didn’t even return to Pakistan after leaving UAE, but he instead went to England where he lived for quite a few years and it was only after he got assurances from the Pakistani government about his security in Pakistan that he returned to his motherland.
“I remember telling him to just do his job and carry the drinks. But later he (Umar) and some others directly threatened me and kept on badgering me so much that I came under psychological pressure and fear and flew to London without informing anyone,” Zulqarnain was quoted as saying recently.
That incident marked an end to Zulqarnain’s international career as well, as he never played international cricket after that.