The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) will not renew coach Rashid Latif’s contract after the former Pakistan captain failed to impress the board with his and the team’s performance under him.
Latif’s one-year contract expires on July 31 and the ACB has already started searching for a ‘competent’ coach to replace the former wicket-keeper.
“We’re not going to renew Latif’s contract,” the ACB Chief Executive Naseemullah Danish told The Express Tribune. “We are not satisfied with his performance as coach. We hired him with great expectations but he failed to meet them after which we have decided to hire someone more competent.”
Danish cited Afghanistan’s recent drubbing against Pakistan ‘A’ when the minnows suffered a 3-0 loss that proved to be the last nail in the coffin and forced the ACB to look for a new coach.
“We are very disappointed with the team’s performance under Latif. After the loss against Pakistan ‘A’, we realised that the team was going down instead of up under Latif. The team, under former coach Kabir Khan, had started showing improvement from day one but Latif, after spending months with them, has brought no improvement at all.”
The Afghanistan team, under Latif, won silver medal at the Asian Games last year and defeated Pakistan in the semi-final. Despite the achievement, the ACB chief was not prepared to credit Latif.
“We should have won the gold medal in Asian Games. We lost the final against Bangladesh which is not a strong team. That was also a setback as the Afghanistan team is immensely talented.”
However, Danish said that Latif will continue as coach of Afghanistan until his contract with the ACB will expire.
Latif was to quit himself?
Although Latif is yet to give his side of the story, an official close to the former Pakistan captain said that he was also not willing to sign a new contract due to the differences with the ACB after the team’s tour of Pakistan.
“Latif is unhappy with the ACB because he is not given the responsibility on his terms and conditions despite a prior commitment. He also believes that some players deliberately underperformed against Pakistan ‘A’ to have him removed as coach and they want Kabir back. Due to all this, he may not sign the new contract.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.
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