The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Imran calls for change at the helm

Islamabad: Dismissing skipper Rashid Latif as someone who cannot run the team for long, the legendary Imran Khan said Pakistan should start looking for a new, dynamic leader for the future.

Talking to reporters during his short visit to a cricket clinic in Peshawar Wednesday, Imran suggested “the next captain should be a bowler or an all-rounder who can understand how to use a bowler in tough matches”.

The cricketer-turned politician did not launch a direct attack on Latif but hinted he lacked qualities of a good, aggressive skipper.

“The approach of the captain must be aggressive. He has to accept every challenge and should take bold decisions and go all out for victory. The fighting approach is a key factor in crucial encounters,” Imran said.

“I accept the qualities of Latif as a wicketkeeper but as captain, he cannot run the team for longer duration,” Imran said.

Meanwhile, Latif refused to comment on the statement of chief selector Aamer Sohail that the Pakistan team management was responsible for the team’s defeat to England in a recent three-match one-day series.

“I don’t want to make any comments. It is for the Board to look into this. The series is over and we were expecting such things.

“It is not a big surprise for us,” Latif was quoted as saying in the Pakistan daily The News.Sohail said in a statement that the decision to play so many allrounders had resulted in the 1-2 defeat.

Latif, who is currently in Birmingham where he is staying with former captain Waqar Younis, also denied that he had spoken to or met with the Board chairman who is in London these days and complained to him about Sohail’s statement.

“No. I have neither spoken nor met anyone. Since the series I have been vacationing in Birmingham with my family,” he said.

“The defeat at Lord’s was heartbreaking but we went down fighting,” he added. Asked whether there was a lobby working against him, he said: “I didn’t ask for the captaincy, but once the Board gave me this responsibility I have tried to do my best with a team which is a blend of experience and youth.

“I don’t know why people are criticising my captaincy or want me out. It really does not bother me because there are others who have called me up and appreciated the hard work put up by the team.” (PTI)

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