KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted by corruption. The 45-year-old, who famously blew the whistle on match-fixing in 1994 and 1995, last week refused to take up the chief selector’s post with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Corruption, match-fixing and spot-fixing allegations have dogged Pakistan cricket for two decades and Latif said he could not work with tarnished ex-pros. “I have my principles, which do not allow me to work with players who were punished for match-fixing in the past,” Latif said.
Latif refused to name anyone but appeared to be making a dig at former team-mate Mushtaq Ahmed, who has reportedly been offered a role in the National Cricket Academy. Mushtaq was among six Pakistan international players fined by a judicial commission in May 2000, following Latif’s allegations. The commission under Lahore High Court judge Malik Qayyum also censured leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed and recommended he not be given any office of responsibility in the team or on the board.
Against International Cricket Council (ICC) advice, England employed Mushtaq as a spin bowling coach in 2010. Latif said the PCB should have zero tolerance of corruption. “Any players suspected or punished in the past have no business working for the PCB in any capacity, and since I know that more than one player were offered jobs in the PCB I stayed away from it,” said Latif, who played 37 Tests and 166 one-day matches for Pakistan.
Latif also refused the role as head of the anti-corruption unit in the PCB. “I wanted to purge the game in Pakistan but when I saw that unwanted elements were there I turned down the job.” Pakistan is the country worst-hit by match-fixing in cricket, with three of their top players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir – serving five-year bans for spot-fixing. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is serving a life ban imposed in 2012 by the England and Wales Cricket Board for spot-fixing in a county match.
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