The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nobody pressurised me, says Latif
- Former captain now wants to concentrate on own performance

Islamabad: Two days after resigning as Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif said the decision to step down was not due to any pressure from cricketing authorities but because he was “unhappy with a few things.”

“There is a lot of talk that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Tauqir Zia pressurised me to resign as captain and leave cricket when I met him on Wednesday.

“I would like to clarify that the decision to resign was my own. I had decided before the meeting that I didn’t want to continue,” Latif told The Newson Friday.

Latif refused to elaborate the reasons for deciding to relinquish captaincy but admitted: “Yes, it is true I was not satisfied with some cricketing matters in the team. But Zia didn’t tell me I had to resign or quit cricket.”

The 34-year-old, however, said he was feeling the pressure of being captain and had decided it was best to step down. “I have never run after these things. I don’t want to be dishonest with myself or my job.

“I was feeling the pressure and was also unhappy with a few things. I decided it is best to hand over the job to someone else. I knew Inzamam can manage things against South Africa,” he said.

“Now I want to concentrate on my own performance because it is going to be a tough series against the South Africans.”

Latif, a veteran of 37 Tests and 161 ODIs, made clear that he took back his decision to quit the game after coming under pressure from friends, fans and well-wishers.

“Since it became public on Wednesday that I had resigned as captain and also quit international cricket, I was flooded with phone calls and e-mails and some people also came to my house demanding that I should not quit at this juncture.”

Latif said after he took back his decision to quit the game, the board chairman had called him up to confirm his availability and asked him to continue as a player. “The chairman heard me patiently and understood my point of view. He disagreed on a few things and also had his say but at no stage did the meeting turn into an argument.”

Latif conceded he had been surprised by the reaction of his supporters and fans. “I didn’t realise that so many people were concerned about me. It makes me feel very happy.”

Over 200 supporters held a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club on Thursday demanding Zia’s resignation and reinstatement of Latif as captain.

Meanwhile, Inzamam insisted on Friday that there was nothing sinister behind Latif’s sudden resignation, adds a report from Karachi.

“I assure everyone there was no controversy behind Latif’s resignation,” Inzamam said after the irate Latif supporters said that a ‘match-fixing mafia’ was responsible for the veteran wicketkeeper’s departure.

“Latif did not feel comfortable as captain but he remains part of the set-up and his influence would be there on the rebuilding of the team.”

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