Exclusive Article

IPL versus PSL is no debate, everyone knows the truth: Rashid Latif [Exclusive Interview]

"If someone is thinking of as a Pakistani, then it is fine. But to analyse what is bigger and better, PSL still needs to grow," Latif said in an exclusive chat with CricTracker.

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Rashid Latif
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Rashid Latif

Former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif is one of the sharpest active commentators on cricket. He keeps a keen eye on all cricketing action across the globe and is known for his unabashed views and comments. The former Pakistanskipper is also following the ongoing IPL 2024 closely. In an exclusive conversation with CricTracker, he spoke about the IPL vs PSL debate, the structure and future of Pakistan cricket and his time as an international cricketer.

Excerpts:

Do you think Shaheen Afridi’s removal as white-ball captain will affect his T20 World Cup performance?  

It might not affect the performance because it’s T20 format, and he is a good bowler in this format. He has to focus on his first two overs with the new ball. But whatever has been done by PCB is not good. There’s always a reason behind removing anyone from captaincy. It (removing Babar and appointing Shaheen) was a wrong decision to begin with. I am saying it because we lost in the ODI World Cup 2023, and you changed the captain of T20 and Test format. Why was that done? After that, Shaheen captained in 5 T20Is. But we shouldn’t consider this as it is a very small sample size, but he has won two PSL titles for Lahore Qalandars as captain. I don’t think that there will be any pressure on Shaheen’s performance. I’ll say whatever happened is not correct. It shouldn’t have happened. 

Also read: Babar Azam reappointed as Pakistan's white-ball captain

If you were in a decision-making position, whom would you have appointed as the captain for the T20 World Cup 2024?

If I had been in the controlling position, appointing a head coach would have been my first task, and the team would have had their coach two years back. But you need to give time to people, be it local or a foreign coach. The problem with Pakistan is that they always entertain sudden changes. For example, bringing back Mohammed Amir and Imad Wasim just ahead of the T20 World Cup. A few players in the plan were not a part of your plans a few days back. The thought process should change immediately for the betterment of Pakistan cricket. The changes of selection committees at frequent intervals have kept changing and disturbing the momentum. Everyone wants to run the system with their approach, but how can you get consistent results with these many changes?

Also read: Imad Wasim should withdraw his retirement decision: Rashid Latif

Do you prefer a foreign coach or a local coach for Pakistan? 

We should learn it from India. They had John Wright as the first foreign coach who worked brilliantly alongside Sourav Ganguly. Then came Greg Chappel. Gary Kirsten, who won India the (2011) World Cup and then Duncan Fletcher, under whom India won the Champions Trophy (2013). But after that, India has relied on their former players like Ravi Shastri, Anil Kumble and now Rahul Dravid. So, Pakistan should learn from them. It is time to invest in the local coaches and their former cricketers. It is a sign of weak bodies to hire foreign coaches.

Many experts in Pakistan rate PSL as better than IPL. What are your views about the debate and the fact that Pakistan players do not get to play the IPL?

IPL versus PSL is not even a debate. If someone is thinking of as a Pakistani, then it is fine. But to analyse what is bigger and better, PSL still needs to grow.  

Speaking of Pakistani players’ involvement in the IPL, whenever they are allowed to play in the IPL, the tournament will become a bigger event than even the T20 World Cup. If even a few Pakistan players play the IPL, it will surpass the T20 World Cup as a tournament. However, the issues between India and Pakistan have benefitted the ICC in the last two decades. They organise the iconic rivalry at neutral venues like it’s going to New York (in the T20 World Cup 2024). 

Maybe our [India and Pakistan’s] Boards do not understand that both the teams’ fans would love to watch Pakistan players play in India. The IPL’s market is already very big; what has been missing for the last 15 years is only Pakistan cricketers.

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