Butt on Haider

To Lahore last week, on the trail of anyone who could shed light on Zulqarnain Haider’s odd defection, and who should I bump into at Model Town Green’s Cricket Club but Salman Butt, the Pakistan cricket captain currently suspended over spot fixing allegations.

I politely enquired whether he or any other of the club cricketers present might be friends with Haider, Butt replied snappily: “He has no friends.”

There are plenty of suggestions floating around in Pakistan that Haider may have been forced out as part of a plot by players within the team, or that his distance from team mates may have made it harder for him to see off illegal advances made by bookies. Either way, once again, Butt makes it sounds as if there’s little to distinguish the Pakistan dressing room from a pit of vipers.

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