Afghanistan news July 16, 2010

Latif to be Afghanistan batting coach

Cricinfo staff

Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper, is set to become the batting coach of the Afghanistan national side. Latif confirmed that he had received a formal offer from the Afghanistan Cricket Board which he had accepted.

The details of the contract have not been specified yet, but it is likely that Latif's initial appointment will be for a year. He will be based in Karachi but will begin most likely at a camp soon to be held for the team in Abbottabad, near Islamabad.

"I have accepted the offer which they sent me in a letter. The contract has yet to come," Latif told Cricinfo. "I am very excited at the prospect of this job because it will be a real challenge. They have exciting young players and I want to help develop them and help them improve as a team. I want to ensure that they also play regularly against good teams so that they can progress."

Latif has plenty of international experience, having played for Pakistan in 37 Tests and 166 ODIs, and he hoped to use that to guide young Afghan cricketers. "Along with the Afghan national side, I would be happy to work at the domestic and grass-roots level too."

Afghanistan, coached by former Pakistan fast bowler Kabir Khan, have had a great couple of years, progressing form the lower levels of the World Cricket League to become one of the top non-Test nations. They gained ODI status last year, qualified for this year's ICC World Twenty20 and finished third in the recently concluded World Cricket League Division One tournament in the Netherlands.