Interview with Rashid Latif

Pakistan wicketkeeper and former Test captain Rashid Latif was interviewed on internet chat in Lahore while the Coca-Cola Cup match in Sharjah between Pakistan and England was in progress on 7 April 1999. Suhael Ahmed assisted Rashid with the interview while Rick Eyre was the moderator.

Rick I'd like to welcome Pakistan wicketkeeper and former Test captain Rashid Latif to the channel

Rick Welcome to #cricket, Rashid

Rashid Latif: Thank you, I have had a chance to visit Lahore and CricInfo for the invitation, I am on my way to Faisalabad to Play for ABL in the OD Tissot Cup.

Rick just a quick question from me to start.. how do you see this match against England going at present? (currently Pak 166/2 after 31 overs)

Rashid Latif: I feel Pak are in a very strong position and both senior players Inz and Ijaz are playing. They should try to get to 300+ as it is an easy wicket. England is warming up and have a good batting side esp Thorpe and Fairbrother.

zman ( asks: What are the Pakistan's chances of winning the coming world cup? Are you satisfied with Pakistan's recent performance?

Rashid Lati That was a great shot by Inz and after Viv Richards I feel Inz is among the top players with that shot and generally, yes I am very satisfied with Paks recent performances and in Eng due to the weather they should go as soon as poss to acclimatize in Englang, Currently Pak are near the top and Miandad has been a great influence as bats who used to get out quickly before now get runs.

shahid karachiwalay ( asks: why were you kicked out of the pakistan team?

Rashid Latif: Because of politics in PCB.

Kashif Hydari ( asks: Do you still stand-by your betting charges against your teammates and do you think it is partially responsible for your elimination from the team.

Rashid Latif: I have made my statements in the court and the case is sub-judice and we need to wait for the decisions. The people if involved, should be punished, or if I am lying then I deserve punishment.

Ravi Mansharamani ( asks: Well Rashid i was really wondering that why does Pakistan not include players of genius like Basit Ali, Aamir Sohail and yourself especially when it looks like Pakistan may win the World Cup.

Rashid Latif: Basit has almost left cricket these days and was a very talented palyer. On Aamer I feel that he has run into problems with PCB so at present he is not able to get into the team. In my case I will play domestic cricket and try my best to get back after the world cup. Our chance even without my or the others presence in the world cup are very good.

Vicks Suppose Moin Khan is injured and you are invited to play under Akram in the World Cup. What would be your position?

Rashid Latif: If I am called I will be playing for MY COUNTRY which comes first.

syed Ahmed ( asks: Shouldn't we get the betting/fixing business behind us and move on with the game, Just like the Kangroos did?

Rashid Latif: I feel in Aus they may still be iquiring but after some decision is made in these scandals we must play cricket as soon as possible.

Rick ok, moving on to some more general matters now:

Wahab ( asks: How did you started playing cricket and when?

Rashid Latif: In the streets of Karachi, in Malir, near the Airport, in 1978-79 when I was 10. We played a hard ball then and shared a bat and stumps were real and groud was a street! :-))

karan ( asks: Why did you decide to become a wicketkeeper and how did you learn wicketkeeping?

Rashid Latif: At start I started keeping wicket and people started calling me a born keeper, I used to develop my own methods {Congrats to Ijaz for his century}, like practicing catches into first and second slip. I also used to get people to hit t he ball onto a pitch roller to get it to bounce back in odd directions. I used to practice an hour at a go doing this.

Narayanan ( asks: How do you compare the Present Pakistani team with the team which won the world Cup in 1992?

Rashid Latif: I think the 99 team is a better complete side with improved fielding but there is a lot of luck and captaincy and performance that needs to click to gel a team.

Mohammed Jawaad ( asks: How do you feel keeping wicket to pace bowlers such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? How do you manage their pace?

Rashid Latif: I think keeping wicket to fast bowlers is easier. I kept wicket when Waqar was at his full pace. Against spinners its more difficult though.

Vicks Do you have any signals with the bowlers? (googly, flipper and such.. ) Who was your favourite bowler as a keeper? Who is the 'dream' bowler you would want to keep?

Rashid Latif: On signals yes we have a signal with a fastie to indicate a slower ball coming up. Not really with spinners. As a keeper my fav bowler to keep to is Saqlain. I would like to keep wicket for Malcolm Marshall (too late sadly tho I did k eep during a charity match World XI game).

Shailesh Kapoor ( asks: Hi Rashid! Can you tell me which is your most memorable dismissal as a wicket keeper?

Rashid Latif: Getting Azhar during the Bangalore in WC96 where I caught him. Waqar was bowling

Soma ( asks: What was the main reason for india'a win over Pakistan in the quarter finals of the last world cup?

Rashid Latif: Jadeja's batting!

doofy ( asks: who is your idol in the world of sports?

Rashid Latif: Jehangir Khan, squash as a man I like him and when he started he had not been selected as he was sick, went on his own and won, his background and history is what i admire.

Deepak K. Shah ( asks: How did it feel when both you and Moin were in the playing eleven in many of the matches for Pakistan ?

Rashid Latif: We have been playing since childhood in karachi and are friends, its up to luck and I no complaints.

Nazeer Peer ( asks: Salaam Rashid, Why is Aaqib out of the side, he is one of the best bowlers we have.

Rashid Latif: Unfortunately we have a lot of good fast bowlers. Yes he is a good bowler and has had very good performances and with such a battery of bowlers in the stable its difficult for him.

siddhu how much part do wicket keepers play in frustrating a batsman by sledging etc..also is there any batsman on whom u tried this and backfired?

Rashid Latif: My experience, its wrong as if one indulges in sledging one can lose concentration and drop a catch etc. I avoid it. Nowdays most bats are not bothered.

Mansoor Qureshi ( asks: Can you explain why the fielding standard is so low in Pakistan. I am amazed that our 'Professional' cricketers are like donkey's in the field. Shahid Nazir is the only one who appears to take pride in hi s fielding.

Rashid Latif: Actually our grounds are to blame, In pak there is little grass especially in the south and often when I dived there I grazed by knees, They are so hard so we have difficulty learning to slide. The grass grounds are now improving and our fielding is improving.

Adnan Jafry ( asks: Do you think PCB deliberately avoiding Karachi Players in the National team? Recent example is Hasan Raza.

Rashid Latif: Not really there are ups and downs and selectors decide. Hasan has played in his earlier days and in time will come bact too.

vijayn hi rashid ! do u think ijaz,afridi and inzamam would succeed in swinging conditions in england where it is very different from where these batsmen usually make runs ?

Rashid Latif: Inz will adjust and the others may have some difficulty at the beginning but their natural talent will compensate.

girish ( asks: what do u feel about the great waqar's future in international cricket,will he cross 300 wickets,will he regain pace?

Rashid Latif: Waqar is a fighter and the WC99 is his turning point. I hope he can get to 350 inshallah.

Bhupindra ( asks: Why do Indian and Pakistani cricket fans generally behave so badly towards each others teams instead of enjoying the game. How does abusive behaviour from fans affect the players? What are relations like between the two teams?

Rashid Latif: No problems between the players. The crowds are motivated by the politics and are emotional. As more tours take place I hope this type of problem will end. I have seen fights break out even on IRC where there are educated people. We n eed to get away from this and enjoy cricket wherever or whoever is playing.

Nimesh ( asks: Hello Mr. Rashid, Who is the great batsman in the world Sachin, Saeed Anwar or Lara?

Rashid Latif: I was expecting such a question :-)) I think they all are including the Waughs and on record Steve comes out first although he bats lower down, also deSilva. They are all up there, take your pick!

Rahat M. Mujib ( asks: Who do you think is the next best wicket keeper for Pakistan? I heard of Javed Qadir and Humayun Farhat.. your thoughts?

Rashid Latif: Humayun is my understudy at ABL and has lots of talent and Javed has also been coached. In my opinion Atiq-uz-Zaman is a better bat cum wicketkeeper and plays for Redco and karachi

Imran Mustafa ( asks: What do u think of Salim Malik as a (a) Cricketer? (b) Person?

Rashid Latif: As a cricketer he is a great bat and as a person too.

saleheen ( asks: Rashid Bhai, after Miandad, Pakistan never found a world class batsman. On the other hand, Pakistan used to have many world class batsmen like Miandad, Abbas, Majid Khan & Hanif Mohammed etc. What is the reason for this regime switching?

Rashid Latif: I dont agree we have Saeed, Inzi and just look at Ijaz and coming up Yousuf. In cricket there swings and then the pendulum quickly swings back.

Asif (asif110@HOTMAIL.COM) asks: Dear Rashid, there has been quite a lot of talking going on in cricket world today that whether Pakistan or Australia has the best bowling test attack in the world. Who would you rate better and why?

Rashid Latif: Both have the bowlers who can win a game for eiter, Pak has wasim, waqar, shoaib, saqlain, mushi who can suddenly turn a match and in Aus we have Glen, Gilly and warne and MacGill coming up fat, They too have swung a game almost insta ntly. Its even stevens as far as I am concerned.

Khawer Rabbani ( asks: Do you think that Javed Miandad should come back in the team to strengthen the middle order batting of Pakistan which is very fragile for last year or so, specifically considering the World Cup?

Rashid Latif: :--))) well not really he has had a great cricketing life and his memory is what makes our batsmen live up to him.

Keith Lane ( asks: Rashid, With regards to the incident that occurred early on the South African tour, how much pressure did that and the press, put you, and the team, under, and did this adversely effect the teams performance?

Rashid Latif: yes there was a problem as the boys wanted not to play at first then Dr Ali had meetings with us and was very upset due to various concerns and we agreed and the test was delayed by a day. I had promised him we would play the next day and promised him I would bring the team to play. The press made up stories and in the west people do not realise that police actions and inquiries are considered a stigma in our country and this is why so much confusion too told their boys not to get inv olved. This is a part of the east I am afraid.

sa ( asks: what do you think about star batsman sanath jayasuriya? do you think sri lanka will win the world cup 99?

Rashid Latif: Jaya is great and the hero of wc96. I feel on current SRL performance their chances are a bit less but in ODI one just does not know!

Asif (asif110@HOTMAIL.COM) asks: Dear Rashid, who is your best mate in world cricket and paki team?

Rashid Latif: In world cricket its Ajay Jadeja and in Pak its basit and all the Pak players.

Sami ( asks: Rashid, If you are offered captaincy again in the near future will you take it?

Rashid Latif: No!

siddhu What has been your most memorable moment as a captain?

Rashid Latif: As a captain I remember most when the Pak team was upset at the mugging scandal and wanted to come back and because of my efforts they cooperated. I was helped by Dr Shamim Naqvi who is an avid fan and we managed to convince them.

Bhavin ( asks: What do you think about the Indian batting????

Rashid Latif: Without SRT they are presently struggling. But even if he does not score his influence is there on the rest. I think in time they will adjust but SRT is coming back anyway so no problems soon.

Murali K ( asks: Hi Rashid! Nice to remember you. In your opinion, how do you rate Mongia and Saba Karim among other keepers in the world?

Rashid Latif: Mongia is good especially with spinners and Saba is up there too.

Pandy ( asks: Hello Rashid, What you think about the Sachin's second innings out. Do you thing wasim should call him back to play? (this would relate to the Asian Championship Test in Calcutta)

Rashid Latif: Yes in retrospect he should have been called back but in the heat of the moment one cannot blame anyone.

Jamal ( asks: What is your true opinion about the "Greatest Pakistani Cricketer" Imran khan.

Rashid Latif: Yes he taught Pakistan how to win. I admire him.

Vicks If you were to pick one player for your Test team among the current players who would that be? For limited over game, who would be your pick?

Rashid Latif: For test cricket Steve Waugh and for ODI it would be Sachin

Anil kumar.R ( asks: How handy is the first slip to a keeper so that keeper can concentrate on leg side etc? How do you like to position first slip to different bowlers Pakistan has like Akram, waqar, Saqlain?

Rashid Latif: When keeping I plan at night as to what I would do if the ball goes in a certain position. The first slip I normally ask him to be at 1.5 as in normal time there are very few catches to leg slip, For the fast bowler I prefer for wasim as he is left arm, that the slip is bit wider and for ritht arm bowlers a bit closer.

Andrew Lunn ( asks: What was your most embarrasing moment in cricket?

Rashid Latif: The Qtr final in wc96 when we lost, sadly!

aditya Do you smoke? What are your opinions about smoking cricketers?

Rashid Latif: Unfortunately, yes! Its a bad habit and I am always trying to quit. On smoking cricketers we have people like Shoaib whose balls smoke! :-))

Avash ( asks: Hi Rashid. I am from Bangladesh and my father said that he knew your father when you used to live in bangladesh. Do you guys still have relatives there?

Rashid Latif: Before 1971 in Dhaka (Dacca!) my mom and grandfather were posted there and were in the Postal Dept. Now I dont have any relatives there. Perhaps your dad met my grandad. Say my best wishes to him.

SALEEM ( asks: Rashid Bhai, when do u plan to get married? (just curious)

Rashid Latif: Hey I am! I have two kids a boy and a girl just starting school. My wife's name is Saima and the children are Maaz and Khadeeja and they are helping me with my web site..

Jordan Rashid Bhai is it true that players have complained about you trying to wake them up for morning prayers on away tours?

Rashid Latif: Hehee, I always try but am not always successful!

H M Taufique ( asks: when will you write your autobiography

Rashid Latif: I am making my website and it will be www.Rashid in a few weeks I hope to have it up. I am writing a book and hope to complete it soon, Still needs work and publishing.

dddxxx will u be going to england to lend support to or watch the pakistani team?

Rashid Latif: I will be leaving for England in the first week of May and will be in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire Premier League. I hope to watch the Pak team too.

Hypo_Pak what pointers does he have for young wicketkeepers

Rashid Latif: The main thing is for them be lissome, flexible and his eyes need to stay on the ball not waiver. He should practice side movement and random movement to improve his reaction time. Also exercise is important.

Anu ( asks: Which is your best cricket ground ?

Rashid Latif: I enjoy Lords and Melbourne most. I did make 45 at lords and also did well in Melb took some catches off Aaqib and I love the atmosphere ther.

Hypo_Pak which team is his favourite to win the worldcup besides pakistan

Rashid Latif: After Pakistan it would be South Africa and Australia to win!

Rick finally.. any comments on the match in progress? (Pakistan made 323/5 and England are now 19/1 after 3 overs)

Rashid Latif: Yes I have watching it on IRC and TV here in CI-Pak in Lahore. That total is a bit high and the present partnership needs to get to about 100 in the first 15 overs otherwise it may become a tough problem. The eng bats can play fast bo wling well. I think if they do not lose too many more wicket this may become a close one. I wont be able to see the end as I have to travel for our game ABL-V-Faiasalabad tomorrow.

Rick ok, that brings us to the end of the interview. I'd like to thank Rashid Latif for his time today. And thank you to everyone who provided questions. This proved to be a very popular interview and we received many more questions than we could fit into the time today

Rashid Latif: I have really enjoyed being here to be able to chat and hope to be back again and want to wish all the fans of cricket the best. Khuda Hafiz and thank you all especially CricInfo and the channel.

(Rashid Latif was previously interviewed by CricInfo on 20 September 1996 at the Hong Kong Sixes.)

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