LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board Wednesday appointed former Test captain Rashid Latif as chief selector and tasked him with helping in the fight against corruption. The straight-talking 45-year-old is known for taking a stand against match-fixing, which has dogged cricket in Pakistan over the years.
"Latif accepted the offer to become the chief selector with effect from 1st April 2014," said a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) release.
This is the third time in less than a month that the chief selector has been changed. Earlier, the PCB, under Zaka Ashraf, had appointed Aamer Sohail as head of the selection panel, which was immediately denounced by the new management committee under Najam Sethi and coordinate member Azhar was put in charge to select the ODI and T20 squads for the tournaments in Bangladesh.
Latif was in contention for different roles, including the head of anti-corruption department. He, though, has been given an additional responsibility to assist the board in imparting training and conducting lectures on anti-corruption matters.
The PCB said Latif will also assist in giving training and lectures on anti-corruption matters. Latif said he was excited at the challenge. "I will endeavour to build a strong team, keeping in view the ICC cricket World Cup 2015," he said in the release. "I will also assist PCB in whatever way I can in anti-corruption matters," said Latif, who famously blew the whistle on his team-mates in 1994.
His stance forced the government to initiate an inquiry into match-fixing, which resulted in a life ban for former captain Salim Malik and fines for Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul Haq and Saeed Anwar. PCB chairman Sethi hailed Latif's nomination. "I have keenly followed his forthright views on cricket in the past and I trust he will be able to bring about positive change in our cricket," Sethi said.
The other selectors in the selection panel are Azhar, Saleem Jaffar and Farukh Zaman. Pakistan's next assignment will be a home series against Australia in the UAE in October. Latif played 37 Tests and 166 ODIs in a career that spanned 11 years. He last played in 2003 and since than has been engaged with the game, running a cricket academy in Karachi. He is currently working as a government graded officer - as sports head of Port Qasim Authority (also a first-class team). According to the PCB, he will join them on deputation from his parent department.