Afghanistan lose Latif's services

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  1. Major
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    Major Cornered Tiger

    Apr 28, 2010
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    Afghanistan have suffered another blow as Rashid Latif, who took up the post of batting coach last month, has resigned less than a week after head coach Kabir Khan was dumped by the Afghan Board.

    Latif reportedly officially offered his resignation through an email to the board, and like Khan cited interference with his coaching role as the main reason behind his decision. "Kabir also left his job because of the same reason. I was not free to impose my ideas on the team. From team combination to the match strategy, the Afghan board officials want to dictate everything," said Latif.

    Hamid Shinwari, the Afghanistan Cricket Board's chief executive, struck back by telling the Cricket Post that the board "received Rashid's resignation and fully respect his choice, but are shocked to receive a long list of new demands just 25 days after signing a contract with him."

    The ACB had issued a press release explaining that Latif would take over the coaching role after Khan's departure, but Shinwari suggested that Latif had asked the ACB to either re-hire Khan as coach or double his own salary and increase his benefits if he were to take up the role. The ACB's response was that they could not afford his demands, and so the senior national side now find themselves without a coach.

    Shinwari explained that the ACB was in contact with the ICC and had requested help in hiring a new coach, who would join the national squad prior to the team's Kenya tour in October this year. Afghanistan's problems could run even deeper than a search for a new coach, however, as Latif added that he had given a comprehensive plan to the Afghan Cricket authorities for the development of the game at the grassroots level which included the establishment of academies and grounds, but his suggestions had been ignored.

    Latif explained that he had also wanted the Afghan team to practice more at home, but the board seemed not to like the idea. "Since I had a good training session with the Afghan cricketers in Jalalabad, hence I wanted more training sessions in Jalalabad and Kabul, but the authorities want to hold camps in Sharjah. With this attitude the Afghan cricket would go nowhere."

    Raees Ahmadzai, a regular in the national team, has raised similar concerns in his blog for CricketEurope. "We wanted to do something for Afghanistan and we worked our hardest to make it happen," wrote Ahmadzai. "We had hoped that this was a legacy that Afghanistan's future cricket stars would embrace. We had built it with the hope we were starting a legacy, but unfortunately, the structures that need to be in place for grassroots cricket to really take off are still nowhere to be seen in Afghanistan.

    "The investment in grassrooots cricket in Afghanistan still hasn't happened," he added. "We do not have any professional grounds, proper academies in Kabul, or a club cricket structure to put young Afghan cricket enthusiasts through. With the ICC pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the ACB, plus the investment from the US embassy in Kabul, $350,000 from Etisalat and $200,000 from Supreme Group, we should be in a much more advanced position."

    Ahmadzai went on to express his sadness that Afghanistan still had not played any one-day internationals against Test nations despite gaining ODI status more than 18 months ago and lamented the fact that "the incentive for the youth to play is slowly diminishing."
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    Dispute with board ends Kabir Khan's coaching tenure

    Kabir Khan, the former Pakistan fast bowler whose tenure as Afghanistan coach recently came to an abrupt end, has said a dispute with the officials of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) forced him to leave the team.

    Kabir told Cricinfo his departure came after the ACB chairman, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, announced Kabir's resignation two days after he sent a text message threatening to quit due to interference in his role.

    "I texted our chairman of ACB regarding some issues which I was not very happy with, and stated that if they don't let me work freely without interfering I will rather leave the job with honour and dignity," Kabir said. "It was not an official resignation but two days later I got a letter from our CEO Aimal Shenwari saying that my resignation has been accepted and I replied 'Ok' - nothing else I could say."

    Kabir said he was unhappy with interference from ACB officials in the recently completed series against Scotland. "During the Intercontinental Cup they at the office were not happy that we did not enforce the follow-on against the Scottish team when Rashid Latif [the batting coach], the captain and I decided to bat for a bit of time and we won the game."

    The tension apparently increased following the second ODI, which Afghanistan lost. "In the last ODI the issue of why we batted first [was challenged]. If they in the office know so much about cricket then there is no point in us doing a job and getting paid. I cannot call Kabul after every toss and ask my CEO what to do," Kabir said.

    These incidents came on the back of disagreements over the selection process. "When I wanted to add young boys and make a future team, the selection committee was giving me boys in their thirties. I was not involved in the selection meetings which I should [and] boys were dropped for no reasons."

    Kabir said he did not see the possibility of reversing his decision. "First of all I will rather find another job as things will not be the same, but if I do then it will totally on my terms and simple ones - I will need full authority of decisions and say in selections. The board can ask me questions or sack me after the tournament but during the tour no interference in cricket matters."

    Kabir said he did felt Zakhilwal should have sought the reason for his disappointment before acting. "The chairman should have at least asked me why I wrote the text, before discussing and deciding with the person who I was not feeling comfortable with. He just had a meeting with CEO and listened to his side of story."

    Kabir maintained that his priority was building the Afghanistan team. "It's not about me - it is about the Afghan team and I will never want them to suffer - I cannot see people ruining the hard work we have done for the last few years just for their personal reasons. I enjoyed every single moment of my job and the respect that I got through coaching the Afghan team," he said.
     
  2. Yaser
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    Yaser Youngsta Beauty

    Apr 8, 2010
    380
    And there was hope they weren't like PCB!
     
  3. Mohammad Aamer
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    Mohammad Aamer Emerging Player

    May 3, 2010
    552
    That's bad news for ACB. But for pak cricket it is great. Ijaz Butt is not going to stay for a long time from now, even if pak draw the england test series....we can have Latif in the board..he's real time sincere to pak cricket.
     
  4. sheikh
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    sheikh Emerging Player

    May 10, 2010
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    woohooo!! this is my 100th post! Im a senior member now!! :D
     
  5. Kashif
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    Kashif Pehlwaan

    Dec 27, 2009
    761
    This is sad news. The ACB had lost 2 sincere cricketers who could have taken Afghanistani cricket beyond expectations.

    In fact Kabir has played an amazing role in coaching a successful team which has surprised everyone.

    I fear that the ACB are content in pushing a non-grassroot level policy. A greater commitment is required to invest in Afghanistan cricket.
     

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