Latif, Basit Announce Test Retirements and Quit Tour Early

Latif, Basit Announce Test Retirements and Quit Tour Early

Post by Ala » Sun, 26 Feb 1995 04:48:14

By Barney Spender

Pakistan vice-captain  Rashid  Latif  and  talented  middle-order
batsman Basit Ali dramatically quit international cricket on Fri-
day and are  to  fly  home  early  from  the  tour  of  Zimbabwe.
Pakistan's  coach  and  manager  Intikhab Alam said the joint an-
nouncement of the players' immediate retirements, made by fax  to
the  Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP), had come as
a complete surprise.

The decision by wicketkeeper Latif, 26,  and  Basit,  24,  to  go
after less than three years in tests comes during a troubled time
for Pakistan cricket, already rocked by *** allegations  that
are being investigated by their officials.

Intikhab said: "Yesterday (Thursday) the team  (minus  Latif  and
Basit)  went  to Victoria Falls and when we got back we heard the
news that they had announced their retirement.

"It is very unfortunate but they say they are not enjoying inter-
national cricket any more."

Pakistan have two more limited overs internationals against  Zim-
babwe  to  play at the weekend before flying home on Tuesday, and
Intikhab agreed the timing of the players' announcement and their
immediate departure was poor.

"It can create ill-feeling in the team but I would like to  think
they will get on with it and win the last two matches," he said.

The two-leg tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe has not  been  par-
ticularly  memorable  for  Latif  and Basit.  Latif, who made his
test debut in the fifth and final match of  the  1992  series  in
England, has kept wicket well enough but has managed just 74 runs
in five test innings.  Basit, who showed considerable early prom-
ise by heading his team's test averages with 222 runs at 55.50 in
his debut series in West Indies in 1993, has had one test innings
in Zimbabwe in which he was dismissed for nought.

Last weekend former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz claimed in
a  London  newspaper  that  Latif was unhappy with his team mates
over *** allegations.  Latif had a  public  falling-out  with
captain  Salim  Malik  in  South Africa but Intikhab was quick to
deny the two events were related:

"I still feel that there was a bit of a misunderstanding  between
Rashid and Salim but it was nothing more than that. But life goes
on. It was his own decision, I don't think anyone else influenced

Controversy and erratic form has dogged Pakistan's tour of south-
ern Africa which began at the end of November.  They played poor-
ly at the end of the South Africa leg when  they  lost  both  the
Mandela  Trophy  finals  comfortably and were then overwhelmed in
the one-off test in Johannesburg.  When they arrived in  Zimbabwe
they  lost  the  first  test  by  an  innings  and  although they
recovered to win the series 2-1,  the  cricket  was  overshadowed
when the *** accusations broke in Sydney.  There followed ac-
cusations of excessive sledging from one Zimbabwe batsman  before
Malik was fined half his match fee in the third test for accusing
local umpire Ian Robinson of ball-tampering.  Finally,  the  team
was  fined  25  per  cent of their total match fees for slow over
rates during the course of the series.