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Cricket
Latif leaves Afghanistan post
Former Pakistan captain quits as coach of Afghan cricket team while Dilshan ruled out of next England-Sri Lanka Test.
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2011 15:32
Sri Lanka have withdrawn Dilshan in the hope that he will make the rest of the tour [GALLO/GETTY]

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has stepped down as coach of the Afghanistan cricket team after they were whitewashed in a one-day series in Pakistan last month.

"I have submitted my resignation to the Afghanistan cricket board and they have accepted it although my contract was until the end of July," Latif, who had been in the job for a year, told the Reuters news agency.

Latif, who played in 37 Test matches for Pakistan, said Afghanistan had great passion and potential despite losing all three matches against the Pakistan A side in last month's series.

"But I feel that when I can't deliver with the team and the performance is also not up to my expectations, it is no use my continuing as coach," he said.

"The truth is I was not satisfied that my association with the team was producing the desired results."

Cricket has flourished in the country after being introduced by Afghans who were raised in Pakistan, in particular Peshawar.

The national side, which cannot play its home games in Afghanistan because of the security situation, narrowly missed out on qualifying for this year's World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.

They did play in last year’s World Twenty20, however.

Afghanistan joined the International Cricket Council in 2001 and has one-day international status until 2013.

Broken thumb

Meanwhile Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan will miss the third Test against England with a broken thumb, team manager Anura Tennekoon confirmed on Tuesday.

The tourists, who are 1-0 down in the three-match series, will instead be led by former captain Kumar Sangakkara – who stepped down after the World Cup final defeat by India – at the Rose Bowl when the third Test starts on Thursday.

Dilshan had been expected to miss the match after twice being hit on the thumb by England fast bowler Chris Tremlett while making 193 – the highest Test score by a Sri Lankan at Lord's – in the drawn second Test.

He then sat out the drawn three-day tour match against Essex at Chelmsford.

"He definitely won't be playing," Tennekoon said of Dilshan.

"The main reason we've kept him out of this Test match is that, had he played and got another blow while fielding on that thumb, he might have been out for the rest of the tour.

"So as a precautionary measure, we have kept him out."

The uncapped Lahiru Thirimanne, who made a century against Essex, is set to take Dilshan's place in the team.

Source:
Agencies
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