Latif becomes Afghan “head coach” following quitting PCB over spot-fixing comments

September 15th, 2010 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Karachi, Sept 15 (ANI): Former Pakistan Test captain Rashid Latif who resigned as the wicket-keeping coach of the National Cricket Academy after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) handed him a notice over a statement he made about spot-fixing, has joined the Afghanistan cricket team as its head coach.

“This is to inform you all that after having discussions with the Afghan cricket authorities I have accepted their offer to become the head coach of the Afghan cricket team,” the Daily Times quoted Latif, as saying in a statement.

The former wicket-keeper-batsman, who blew the whistle on match-fixing among Pakistan’s national team in 1994 and testified against his fellow players in an inquiry four years later, said last week that the ICC and its anti-corruption unit were ‘powerless’ in the fight against betting scams, and suggested they change the rules to curb corruption in the game.

He also described the ‘News of the World’ report as a ‘joint money-making exercise’ by the tabloid reporter and the alleged bookie, Mazhar Majeed.

After his resignation, Latif clarified his controversial comment by saying: “As a former player and captain, people look up to me and expect me to speak honestly and without bias, and that I have done without meaning anything personal against anyone.”

“I have taken the decision to resign after being issued a notice by the PCB for having given statements on the spot-fixing issue. I would like to make it clear here that while it is an honour to serve Pakistan cricket in any position, I can’t remain quiet on a key cricket issue that could determine the future of our cricket,” he added.

The 41-year-old coach said that while he had enjoyed his stint as a wicket-keeping coach with the PCB, “as a former captain, I have other responsibilities as well to Pakistan cricket, which has given me a lot.”

He will be taking over the new responsibility from compatriot Kabir Khan, who resigned over differences with the Afghan cricket authority after last month’s Scotland tour.

Latif played 37 Tests and 166 one-day internationals (ODIs) in an illustrious career that also saw him campaign against corruption in the game. He had been wicket-keeping coach at the academy since late 2008.

Pakistan cricket has been rocked by an investigation against three cricketers- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, after a tabloid alleged the trio had taken money to bowl no-balls during a Test against England in August. (ANI)

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