Rashid Latif was born on 14th October, 1968. He is a former Pakistani wicket keeper and a right handed batsman who represented the Pakistani cricket team in Test cricket and One Day International matches, between 1992 and 2003. He also served as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team between 2003 and 2004.
Latif started playing for the Pakistan national cricket team in 1992 after the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He impressed the national selectors by scoring 50 runs in his Test debut, However it did not cement his place in the national squad, throughout his career because he was competing with another Pakistani wicketkeeper, Moin Khan. This led to ongoing changes of wicket keepers for the next decade. In 1996, he announced his retirement after conflicts with some team players and the team management. He returned back to the Pakistan team and became the captain of Pakistan in 1998.
Latif remained out of the national squad until 2001, when after a series of poor performances, the team replaced a certain Khan of Pakistan, who was named captain. After returning back to the squad, he was somewhat enhanced by keeping his place on the wicket and giving a series of good performances beating. The highlight came when his career after the World Cup Cricket in 2003, was announced as captain of Pakistan. Under his leadership, Pakistan successfully tested with several new players and the team gave positive results. He also participated with the unification of the players through his captaincy in the inside and outside the stadium for the game of cricket. However, indifferences between Latif and manage the team and appeared again in the period 2003-2004, which resulted in him giving up the captaincy, former Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq. He dropped from the squad since then and was not mentioned in the team, despite his attempts to return to the team during the period 2003-2005.
In April 2006, has retired from the gentle game of cricket first class as he toured with senior Pakistani players to play against top Indian players in April 2006. This series played between the players who have retired from professional cricket. Also, according to statistics available on ESPN [Cricinfo sports, can be seen that for the spectrum did not participate in a game of first-class cricket since 2005. The last international match in 2006, when he played for the skin Cricket Club, a club in England.
Rashid Latif, aged 39, played 39 Test matches for Pakistan and 162 one-day internationals but was more noted for being the first player to go public on the match-fixing scandal in the nineties.
You have been doing some expert wicket-keeping coaching for the Pakistan Cricket Board. Can you tell us about that?
The PCB requested me to train and Under -15, Under-17 players under 19 years old, as well as working with top keepers such as Sarfraz Ahmed and completed the violin, which I spent time with in the Nahr al-Bared in the last month. We believe in natural talent, but I still think you need some basic training, whether batsman, wicket keeper or bowler. I'm running my academy in Karachi to all players but keeping is an area unique in the training, chlorine, and I realized that I hired a coach first wicket keeping. It's a good move, as I said Pakistan could help us in keeping a high level of preservation of what is required in international standards because in this moment we are not with the best player in the world.
What have you observed of Kamran Akmal’s progress?
Kamran is an amazing player who started his cricket after me and performed well, especially in the Mohali Test when he scored a match-saving hundred. He also did well with the bat in India recently and against England a couple of years ago. Having said all that, he has a problem with his wicket-keeping. He is overweight and his muscles are too tight because of (too much) weight training. I have spoken with the Pakistan trainer, DD (David Dwyer), and he also realises this and is working with him. He needs to lose some weight as he is 78kg – I was about the same height and I weighed 69-70kg, which I think is an ideal weight for a wicketkeeper of our height. 78kg is too much for a wicketkeeper of his height of about five-foot-eight inch. He needs a more flexible body like (Adam) Gilchrist, (Kumar) Sangakkara or (Mark) Boucher. They are flexible and that is why they are good wicketkeepers. I hope Kamran will be better after four to six months.
Pakistan has won the last two Under-19 World Cups and is now in the semi-final of the latest edition. So presumably the future for Pakistan is optimistic?
For the last five or six years we have performed well at these tournaments and Under-17 also but as soon as they reach 22 or 23 they don’t go on because we have an age problem on the domestic circuit in Pakistan. Most of the Pakistan players playing Under-19 cricket are more than 19-years-old. It’s very bad for Pakistan cricket. They have to check the proper age of the players. We are very good at Under-19 but then we struggle to even be in the middle of the international rankings. I’m sure that 50 percent of Pakistani players in this tournament are over-age. Most of these Under-19 players are playing first-class cricket in Pakistan, but this is not the case with other teams because their players are 17 or 18. It is very difficult to play first-class cricket at the age of 18. We have had 21 and 22-year-old players, even 25-year-olds, playing Under-19 cricket. Now I think we are trying to go the right way. The problems are not with cricket administrators or management, they are with the schools. When you are in Class nine or ten and put in your registration form you can change your age. Nowadays they are checking more closely at Imran Khan’s hospital in Lahore and nobody older than 21 would be able to play Under-19 cricket.
Pakistan is losing so many players to the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Do you agree with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s policy to ban them for three years?
I think it is the wrong policy by BCCI and PCB to ban these players - it is not good for the players or the cricket. The PCB and BCCI can only offer about 15 or 16 places to players for the national team so when the other players have a good opportunity to make money from cricket, the boards should not be punishing them for trying to earn a living. The situation is very bad right now because the ICC or BCCI does not want any private sector to come into cricket. We need to support the ICL and IPL as fans are more interested in watching the great players playing together in these kind of events than Test matches in India and Pakistan. I also did not enjoy playing against teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh but loved matches against Australia, England, India and South Africa. Cricket is going the same way as football in these Super Leagues and Premier Leagues and we have to embrace it – it’s good for cricket.
In your career you always had a reputation for being a controversial character. Was that fair to end up with that label?
Yes I was controversial but I was satisfied with my performance on the field. I am proud to be the first man who spoke out about the match-fixing and I have no regrets. I am a very satisfied person.
What is it like to have the reputation of being the ‘whistle-blower’?
I’m proud to be the first man to talk about all the fixing, speaking against the players who did all these things.
There was talk you would write a book on your career and it was expected to be very revealing. Do you still have plans to write this?
My autobiography is almost complete, we are looking for a publisher so maybe next year.
Will it be controversial?
Well I am not connected to international cricket any more so I don’t know what is happening now (with fixing) though I can still tell if something has happened in a match from watching on television. Now there is not match-fixing like there was in 1994-95 or until 1998. Now nobody has a clue about the ‘fancy’ fixing, like whether you’re making 50 runs in the first ten overs. You can’t have a clue about that. My autobiography will not be controversial for those reasons but I will talk about why I took s stance on the match-fixing. I will speak about the players I played with and against, and umpires, referees and team managers and coaches.
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