ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Rashid Latif critical of tournament scheduling

Rashid Latif has said the teams participating in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 should have played warm-up matches against English County sides rather than against each other © Getty Images

Karachi: Jun 6, 2013

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes the scheduling of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 after the Indian Premier League (IPL) is unfair to the players and may lead to fatigue and injuries.

“It is very hard on the teams. One day you are playing a warm up game and after just a day’s rest you are to play a tournament match. It is unfair on the players. It involves a lot of stress and pressure,” Latif said.

“Most of the main players who will represent their countries in the Champions Trophy played in the IPL and such a hectic schedule can lead to fatigue and injuries,” he added.

Latif said the participating teams should have played against counties instead of each other in the warm-up games.

“Instead of having competing teams play against each other in warm up matches it would have been better if the participating teams were made to play against counties,” he said.

Talking about the Indian team, Latif supported the decision by the Indian team management to promote Rohit Sharma to open the innings against South Africa in the Champions trophy opener in Cardiff on Thursday.

“The Indian think tank has taken a wise decision because Rohit is a class player and this will allow him to play through an innings and pace his batting,” Latif said.

“I think Rohit can follow in the footsteps of Sachin Tendulkar who blossomed in One-Day Internationals once he was promoted to open the innings. Rohit also has lot of talent but so far he has batted low down the order.

“This has stopped him from giving his best. But now that he is opening the innings I think he will be a more improved and consistent batsman,” Latif added.

Latif also picked Virat Kohli as another quality batsman for India.

“He is a fighter and he is reliable most of the time.”

Another former captain Shahid Afridi said Rohit and Kohli will play a big role in the ongoing Champions Trophy.

“They are very talented players and I think they have important roles to play in this tournament for India. India’s strength is their batting and they can pose problems for opposing teams but a lot will depend on the conditions they encounter during the tournament,” he said.

Asked about India’s match with Pakistan, Afridi said he was confident it would be a closely contested encounter.

“On paper both teams are equally balanced if India has the edge in batting Pakistan has a good bowling attack so it should be a very interesting match. But obviously I think Pakistan will be hard to beat,” Afridi said.

Latif and Afridi also agreed that it would be a folly to predict about teams on basis of warm up matches.

“I don’t think we will have the same sort of batting pitches in the group matches that we had in the warm up games,” Latif said.