The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Latif asks for patience

Islamabad: Pakistan captain Rashid Latif on Monday urged the country’s cricket board, selectors and the public not to expect instant results from his inexperienced team and allow it time to settle down.

The newly appointed skipper said it would not be easy to fill in the absence of a number of seniors left out following their disastrous World Cup campaign.

“It is never easy when you lose players of the stature of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Azhar Mahmood and Shahid Afridi,” Latif said before Pakistan’s departure to Sharjah for the four-nation series also featuring Sri Lanka, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

“Some of these players might have had a poor World Cup and some might have been struggling with form for sometime now. Some of them arguably were also nearing the end of their careers but the fact remains when in one sweep so many experienced players go, it takes quite a while for those replacing them to find their feet.

“The problem is that while in other countries players are groomed to take over from their seniors, this has unfortunately not happened in Pakistan.

“So we have to be patient with the new and relatively inexperienced players now and allow them enough time to gain confidence at the international level,” he said.

Latif said the new players had the potential to excel at the top level but it would not happen overnight.

“They need to be backed and encouraged. I am confident that with the talent we have at our disposal at the much maligned domestic set-up, Pakistan cricket will in due course of time be back to its confident self,” he said.

Latif, who replaced World Cup skipper Waqar Younis at the helm of a revamped squad, said Sharjah was probably the ideal place to start the process of rebuilding, but success, if it comes, should not be overplayed.

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