Ignoring Shoaib will be a mistake: Latif

Published: Monday, April 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif has said that overlooking enigmatic paceman Shoaib Akhtar for the West Indies tour would be mistake as the latter is a proven match-winner.

The former gloveman who blew the lid on match-fixing in international cricket, was quoted as saying in a Pakistan daily-The News International that Shoab's services should be utilized for the benefit of the side.

"I have been reading and listening to a lot of reasons being given for not including Shoaib in the Pakistan team on the grounds that the team has done well in India without him and Shabbir Ahmed."

"There is also an argument that he is not a committed team man and could upset the team spirit. I totally disagree with these arguments because at the end of the day Shoaib remains a match-winning bowler who will sooner or later have to be selected in the squad," Latif said on Friday," The News International quoted.

Latif said that a player of Shoaib's calibre can turns thing around not only for himself but also for the side.

"Cricket is a funny game. The team gave a tremendous show in India and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer deserve all credit for getting the best performances out of the team without their key bowlers in India.

"But what happens if tomorrow the team goes through a slump. And as Inzi and Woolmer themselves admit, Shoaib and Shabbir are the best bowlers in Pakistan. So when they are available why ignore them?" he questioned.

Latif's asserted that he did not find Shoaib a tough to deal with when he was the captain in 2003.

"He has played with me and under my captaincy and I didn't find him a difficult person to handle. He may not have got along with Inzi and Woolmer but in the larger interest of Pakistan I think any ego problems should be sorted out across the table," the paper quoted.

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