SIALKOT, Pakistan, April 27 – Pakistani police said Wednesday that arrested bookmakers have confessed to being behind death threats to former national wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider.
The 25-year-old abandoned the team in Dubai last November and fled to London, saying he had received death threats from bookies who wanted him to fix a match.
Haider said he was retiring from international cricket and applied for political asylum in Britain, but returned home on Monday after the Pakistani government gave assurances about his safety and that of his family.
"We have arrested eight bookies and some of them have revealed they were behind threats to Haider," police official Nasir Qureshi told AFP from the town of Sialkot, 120 miles (190 kilometres) southeast of the capital Islamabad.
"We have confiscated their data which has a number of international contacts and the investigation is still on."
Qureshi said an official press conference could be called on Thursday.
"We have found a number of satellite telephones and diaries which have international contacts and we hope to get further details in the next 24 hours," he added.
Haider last week announced that he was prepared to revoke his application for asylum and return to resume his career after meeting Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik in London.
On his return Haider said he had not yet decided on his future.
"I am happy to return and have got the kind of security promised to me. They have given me superb accommodation," said Haider.
"There were some reasons when I left the team and went to Britain. I will spend some time with my family and haven’t decided on my playing future."
On Monday, Malik said Haider had revealed some important details but refused to share them with the media.
The Pakistan Cricket Board said Haider had not made contact and only when he does, would a fact-finding committee take up the matter.
The committee, formed last year, found no clear motive behind Haider’s disappearance but termed him "mentally ill".