LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday appointed former Test captain Rashid Latif as chief selector and tasked him with helping in the fight against corruption. 45-year-old Latif, who played 37 Tests and 166 one-day from 1992-2003, is a prominent voice against the menace of match-fixing that has dogged Pakistan cricket over the years. “Latif accepted the offer to become the chief selector with effect from April 1, 2014,” said a PCB spokesman. Latif was in contention for different roles, including the head of anti-corruption department.
This is the third time in less than a month that the chief selector has been changed. Earlier, the PCB, under Zaka Ashraf, had appointed Aamir Sohail as head of the selection panel. The decision was immediately reversed by new PCB chief Najam Sethi, and Azhar Khan was put in charge to select the ODI and T20 squads for Asia Cup and World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. The other selectors in the selection panel are Azhar, Saleem Jaffar and Farukh Zaman. Pakistan’s next assignment will be a home series against Australia in the UAE in October.
“The PCB chairman offered me the position of chief selector in addition to education and training in anti-corruption unit. I have accepted both responsibilities,” Latif said. He added that he was excited at the challenge. “I will endeavour to build a strong team, keeping in view the ICC cricket World Cup 2015. I will also assist PCB in whatever way I can in anti-corruption matters,” said Latif, who famously blew the whistle on his teammates in 1994. His stance forced the government to initiate an inquiry into match-fixing, which resulted in a life ban for former captain Salim Malik and fines for Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamamul Haq and Saeed Anwar. “It excites me a lot as I want to educate our players about the pitfalls of corruption in any form in cricket,” he maintained.
PCB chairman Sethi hailed Latif’s nomination. “I have keenly followed his forthright views on cricket in the past and I trust he will be able to bring about positive change in our cricket,” Sethi said in a statement. Latif last played for Pakistan in 2003 and since than has been engaged with the game, running a cricket academy in Karachi. He is currently working as a government graded officer – as sports head of Port Qasim Authority (also a first-class team). According to the PCB spokesman, Latif will join the board on deputation from his parent department.
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