Latif blasts MCC 'double standard' on Pakistan

By AFP
Published: March 29, 2012

MCC president Phillip Hodson has said his club was more likely to tour Afghanistan than Pakistan. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif on Thursday lashed out at cricket’s oldest club, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), for contemplating a tour of war-torn Afghanistan at the expense of Pakistan.

“I am shocked at MCC’s double standard,” Latif told AFP. “Even Afghanistan’s team don’t practise in their country because of the war and yet MCC is planning to tour Kabul and ruling out Pakistan.”

MCC president Phillip Hodson told BBC radio’s Test Match Special programme on Wednesday that his club was more likely to tour Afghanistan, where Nato troops are fighting the Taliban, than Pakistan.

“I think we could do something in Afghanistan and I don’t think it will be long away,” Hodson said.

MCC owns Lord’s in London – considered the “home of cricket” – and is responsible for governing the rules of cricket.

They have done development work in Afghanistan, where cricket’s popularity has grown enormously in recent years.

Latif said Pakistan – which has not hosted top-level cricket since gunmen attacked the visiting Sri Lankan team in March 2009 – needs more support.

“I am surprised,” said Latif.

“Pakistan needs more support and if a team from the MCC tours Pakistan it will send a good message to the cricketing world.”

Latif said he was encouraging England’s Lashings Cricket Club team to visit and is awaiting a response from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“I gave a plan to the PCB two months ago and if they agree in the next week I can bring the Lashing Club in 15 days’ time,” said Latif. “It is my duty to help Pakistan cricket.”

Since the attacks on the Sri Lankans, which killed eight people and wounded seven visiting players and their assistant coach, Pakistan has been forced to play its home series on neutral venues, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.

“I am confident that Lashings or a World XI can tour Pakistan. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan’s former captain and current player) has also talked to a lot of international players who are willing to come to Pakistan,” said Latif.

Lashings owner David Folb confirmed his team was willing.

“I would be delighted to take a team to Pakistan. Latif is a man who I have the utmost respect for and if he says it’s safe for us to travel there we’d be delighted,” Folb told cricinfo in England.

Reader Comments (10)

  • Voler La Vedette
    Mar 29, 2012 - 9:29PM

    erm… No wonder no one wants to come… We don’t accept the reality do we… All is well when people are dying around us…

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  • Xyz
    Mar 30, 2012 - 3:03AM

    If you understood English, you would see that he was saying that relative to Afghanistan, Pakistan is alot safer. the example he gave was that our team can practice in pakistan but the afghan team cant practice in afghanistan due to security reasons. Learn to read

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Mar 30, 2012 - 6:57AM

    Latif Bhai, you are trying your best but PCB is not serious, otherwise it was not hard to bring international palyers in Pakistan.

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  • Oopsie!
    Mar 30, 2012 - 9:56AM

    He’s right! Down with MCC – clearily one can see their intentions! whats their next destination – IRAQ?! :p

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  • sars
    Mar 30, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Much as i can appreciate the thought and effort by Mr latif, the bottom line is if we are not safe in our own home , theres no sense in trying to pretend otherwise.
    Security situation is by no means any better and we have failed to catch and convict most of the perpetators of almost any significant act (except the remanants of suicide bombers). First we need to get our house in order then invite guests.

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  • popsaeed
    Mar 30, 2012 - 10:32AM

    @Voler La Vedette:
    but less then afghanistan where offically war is delared by USA so be neutral

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  • Jade
    Mar 30, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Instead of urging upon international sides to come to Pakistan, we need to improve the security situation in Pakistan. Imagine a team coming to Pakistan and an attack is attempted against them, what would happen then??

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  • Adil Mulki
    Mar 30, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Playing in Afghanistan is “news” – even at the risk of security concerns. Playing in Pakistan is “negative publicity”. It is economics, politics and biases that are being played here – definitely not cricket.
    Unfortunately, our own PCB is to be blamed for this as well. The poor organisation has just come out of the rule of “Butt”, it will take some time with sincere leadership right from the top, to turn things around.

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  • You Said It
    Mar 31, 2012 - 10:26PM

    On one hand we call US and NATO enemies of Pakistan. On the other we beg English teams to visit. Where is our ghairat when PCB and all our cricketers go pleading the world to visit Pakistan and play. As “large-hearted” Pakistanis we kidnap and kill American aid workers and minorities and are then aggrieved when other teams don’t tour Pakistan.

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  • bharat
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:02AM

    what is Rashid is saying is right. Teams should tour Pakistan to show solidarity with the victims of terror. Pakistanis have been facing terrorism for many years now.

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