Afghanistan news June 9, 2011

Latif contemplates Afghanistan exit

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan captain, could be on his way out as Afghanistan coach as a result of differences that have arisen between him and certain board members and players following the team's recent tour of Pakistan. ESPNcricinfo has learned that Latif suspects some of the players deliberately underperformed in an attempt to have him removed as coach, and may not be willing to extend his contract when it expires on July 31.

Afghanistan were whitewashed 3-0 by Pakistan A and Latif expressed disappointment with the attitude and effort put in by some of the players, who he believes did not give 100% because they would like to see their former coach, Kabir Khan, back in the post. He had previously said the team's poor results were down to a lack of regular international cricket.

However, team manager Shafiq Aswat told ESPNcricinfo that while Latif was indeed unhappy with the performance of the team, he hadn't noticed any signs of disagreements or general unhappiness. "Atmosphere is very pleasant in the dressing room. The players respect Latif as the coach."

Aswat said Latif and the Afghanistan board are still negotiating the terms of a new contract but hopes "both sides agree and we will bring him back". Otherwise, he said, they would have to get a new coach.

This is not the first time Afghanistan board officials have been rumoured to be meddling in team affairs. The team's biggest win under Latif came in last year's Asian Games, when they upset Pakistan in the T20 competition.

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