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Zulqarnain seeking asylum in UK?

After mysteriously fleeing Dubai, Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider spent nearly five hours at the Heathrow airport in London reportedly to discuss plans to seek political asylum in the UK with the immigration authorities.

cricket Updated: Nov 09, 2010 12:41 IST

After mysteriously fleeing Dubai, Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider spent nearly five hours at the Heathrow airport in London reportedly to discuss plans to seek political asylum in the UK with the immigration authorities.

Zulqarnain, who left the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai just hours before the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa on Monday claiming he had received threats from alleged bookmakers, reached London late evening by an emirates flight.

After emerging from the Heathrow airport terminal building he called up 'Geo News channel' to say that he was fine and this message should be conveyed to his family in Lahore.

But interestingly when asked about why he spent so much in the terminal building with immigration authorities, the wicketkeeper only stated that he had been advised by them to seek the help of lawyers giving further credence to speculations that he was planning to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom.

Zulqarnain also said that he wanted his wife and children to join him in London as soon as possible. "I have a one month visa for the UK and I have come here on my own expenses. I will be staying at a hotel on my own expenses," he said.

But he refused to elaborate when asked for the reasons for his sudden departure from the Pakistan team hotel saying he would speak on it later.

Sources close to the 24-year-old said he had already started getting offers from leading tabloids and channels to give an exclusive interview to them on the reasons for his departure from the team hotel in return for hefty appearance fees.

The keeper caused a furore in Pakistan cricket when he departed for London on the day of the final ODI against South Africa which his team lost lats night.

Zulqarnain and his brother in Lahore confirmed that he had received threats to his life with the keeper also mentioning this on his facebook account.