Sunday, November 8, 2009

Latif admits cheating at Multan

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif admitted that he faked the catch of Bangladesh batsman Alok Kapali during the third and final Test at Multan six years ago that the visitors lost by one wicket.

His confessional statement was aired on Desh TV, a local private television channel, on Saturday night where the former Pakistan wicketkeeper also explained what prompted him to resort to an act of cheating.

The 41-year-old Pakistani said that he did it intentionally keeping in mind that a defeat against Bangladesh would not be taken sportingly at home especially after the bitter memories of the 1999 loss in the World Cup.

He said that their one-day international loss against Bangladesh during the 1999 World Cup in England raised questions of match fixing and he feared that the defeat at Multan, which was always on the cards, might fuel that allegation again.

Now in Dhaka to attend the Level III coaches education course conducted by the Asian Cricket Council and Cricket Australia in collaboration with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Latif also recalled the incident, which was widely criticised.

“I dived to my right to take a Kapali nick (off an Yasir Ali delivery). The ball dropped from my gloves as I rolled over but quickly picked it up from the ground before claiming it as a clean catch,” said the stumper.

In that Test, Bangladesh were in a strong position to pull off a historic win. After scoring 281 in the first innings they bowled Pakistan out for 175. In their second knock Bangladesh wobbled after Kapali's dismissal on a difficult track. In their second innings, Pakistan rode on an unbeaten 138 from Inzamamul Haq to save the blushes. It was also alleged that the groundsmen cut the outfield grass the night before the start of the fourth day, a clear violation of the game rules, so that the ball could move faster towards the boundary.

An uneasy Latif however did not say anything about other incidents.

Latif was subsequently suspended for next five matches for bringing the game into disrepute. He also stepped down as captain after that three-Test series.

In that series, Bangladesh also played very well in the second Test at Peshawar. But a second innings debacle saw Bangladesh eventually lose the game by nine wickets.

Latif is currently the wicket keeping coach of the Pakistan youth team.

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