Rashid Latif concerned over Gary Kirsten’s appointment as Pakistan’s head coach

The former Pakistani wicketkeeper believes that the timing of the ex-South African captain’s appointment is crucial

By Web Desk
May 04, 2024
Rashid Latif (L) and Pakistan's white-ball coach Gary Kirsten. — AFP

Former wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif believes that the timing of Gary Kirsten’s appointment as Pakistan’s white-ball head coach is crucial as the T20 World Cup 2024 is just a month away.

Kirsten, who won the 2011 World Cup with India, was appointed on a two-year deal and will be in charge of the side for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, next year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan, ACC T20 Asia Cup 2025 and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka.

Latif believes that if Pakistan lose in the upcoming T20 World Cup, then they will put the blame on Kirsten or skipper Babar Azam which is something that he wouldn’t do.

“Gary Kirsten has been a successful coach for India, and also in franchise cricket. But the timing (of his appointment) is wrong, the problem that has always arisen in Pakistan is timing. This is above my head,” Latif said.

“Next month we are going to the World Cup. On the road to the World Cup, we are playing 7 matches. The time is very short. If they lose, the board will blame Kirsten or Babar Azam. This is our tradition. I will not blame Babar or Kirsten.”

The former captain also highlighted the effects of urgency as many players don’t have clarity about the team composition or leadership which sometimes creates problems within the team.

“Today, if I know that this is my head coach, this is my captain and this is my selection committee…Momentum is like what happens in Australia, India, and England that they know these are our 12-13 certain players and this is my coach. You should have known all this 6-8 months or even a year in advance,” he added.

Groups for T20 World Cup 2024

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada, United States

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, Oman

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Nepal