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If Pakistan lose, PCB will blame Kirsten, this is our tradition: Latif

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New Delhi, May 3: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) this week appointed Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillespie as head coaches for the white-ball and red-ball cricket teams, respectively, each for a two-year term.
However, the timing of the appointment ignited debate in the cricket fraternity as the ICC T20 World Cup is just a few days away.
Speaking to IANS, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif, too, expressed his concern over the late appointments.
“Gary Kirsten has been a successful coach for India, and also in franchise cricket. But timing (of his appointment) is wrong, the problem that has always arisen in Pakistan is timing. This is above my head… 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,” Rashid said.
“Pakistan definitely has an advantage that you cannot neglect them in ICC events, you cannot write them off. They appear from nowhere… This has happened on many occasions. Kirsten and Gillespie are both very experienced coaches and have impressive records. But they should have been called earlier.
“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, 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.
On Thursday, PCB announced its 18-player squad for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland (10-14 May) and England (22-30 May). The squad will be reduced to 15 players for next month’s World Cup 2024 after the first T20I at Leeds on May 22 to meet the ICC’s May 24 deadline.
The men’s national selection committee has recalled fast bowler Haris Rauf, along with all-rounders Hasan Ali and Salman Ali Agha, in the 18-player squad. The two cricketers who did not make the cut from the original 17-player squad that faced New Zealand are wrist spinner Usama Mir and fast bowler Zaman Khan.The Babar Azam-led side is scheduled to depart for Dublin on May 7 following a three-day training camp in Lahore from May 4-6. (IANS)

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