Latif does U-turn on Pakistan chief selector job

KARACHI, (Reuters) – Pakistan cricket was hit by further controversy on yesterday when former national team captain Rashid Latif changed his mind about becoming the chief selector despite having accepted the post last month.

“I don’t want to get into controversies and I don’t think this is the right time for me to accept this position,” Latif told Reuters.

Last month the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued a press release announcing that Latif would take over as chief selector from April 1.

“I had got a contract from the board to sign it but I have declined and returned it to the board,” the 45-year-old Latif said without giving any specific reasons.

However, sources close to the former wicketkeeper-batsman said he decided to step away because of differences with the board over the selection of the other members of the national selection committee and matters of authority.

“Rashid wanted former test batsman Muhammad Yousuf as a selector but the board was reluctant to appoint him as he has been very critical of the PCB in recent times,” one source said.

Rashid has also been unhappy about the way the board reacted to the Pakistan team’s performance at this year’s World T20 tournament where they were knocked out before the semi-finals.

The former captain told the state-owned PTV sports channel it was not right for the board to allow Muhammad Hafeez to step down as T20 captain because the entire team had performed badly.

Yousuf said he supported Rashid’s decision to decline the offer if he was not getting a selection committee of his choice.

“If a designated chief selector can’t pick his members on the selection committee than how does the board expect him to deliver results,” Yousuf told Reuters.

Latif has remained an enigmatic figure in Pakistan cricket and been at odds with the establishment since he played a crusader role in exposing the match-fixing scandal in Pakistan cricket in the 1990s.

Latif, who played 37 tests and 166 one-dayers for Pakistan from 1992-2003, has been a prominent voice against the menace of match-fixing in the country.

As well as the chief selector job, the PCB had also offered him a role in dealing with anti-corruption issues.

Pakistan cricket has functioned without a chief selector since last September when the Islamabad High Court put aside a decision by the board to appoint former captain Moin Khan.

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