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Inzamam to lead Pak against SA

Rashid Latif's resignation was accepted in a PCB meeting on Thursday and Inzamam-ul-Haq was named captain for Pakistan's home series against South Africa.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2003 22:51 IST

Inzamam-ul-Haq will captain Pakistan in next month's home series against South Africa, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced on Thursday.

Inzamam replaces Rashid Latif, who resigned on Wednesday citing personal reasons.

Latif's resignation was accepted in a meeting on Thursday at the board's headquarters in Lahore, according to a PCB media release.

PCB chairman Tauqir Zia chaired the meeting which was attended by chief executive PCB Ramiz Raja, chief selector Aamir Sohail, coach Javed Miandad and Inzamam.

"It has been a difficult decision to accept Latif's resignation because of his wonderful contributions to the young Pakistan team after the World Cup," Zia said in a statement.

"But I guess life has to go on and Latif will continue to make useful contributions in days to come."

Latif was included in the 16-man squad announced on Thursday to take on South Africa in five one-day internationals starting at Lahore from Oct. 3. The test squad will be announced later.

Inzamam led Pakistan to a 5-0 victory in the limited overs series against Bangladesh earlier this month after Latif was banned for five one-day internationals for falsely claiming a catch during the third test between the two teams.

"The PCB has complete faith and trust in Inzamam's abilities and we wish him all the best in future endeavors," Zia said. "Inzamam is a player in form and has all the ingredients to lead from the front and by example."

Inzamam happily accepted his new responsibilities. "I am delighted that the establishment has put faith in my abilities. I will put in my best and will try to carry on the good work done by Latif," he said.

"There will be pressure on me. But I guess after playing for 13 odd years, one has to raise his hand and say yes I can handle this pressure and shoulder the hopes of millions of Pakistan supporters."

Sohail said Latif still had a lot to contribute to the team. "I am sure Inzamam will benefit from Latif's presence," he said. "Besides, there are no two opinions that Latif is the best wicketkeeper in the country today."

In other one-day selections, Pakistan recalled Mushtaq Ahmad, who took more than 100 wickets in this year's English county championship to help Sussex lift the title for the first time.

Sohail said the selectors had picked the best available 16 players for the one-day series after experimenting with youngsters during the test and one-day series against Bangladesh.

"The time for experimentation is over and now only those players who have cashed in on the opportunities in the series against Bangladesh, will be picked for the series against South Africa," he said.

Pakistan one-day squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Rashid Latif (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Sami, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmad, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Faisal Iqbal and Salman Butt.

Reserves: Asim kamal, Imran Farhat, Faisal Athar, Danish Kaneria, Kamran Akmal and Abdul Rauf.