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Latif pulls out of Tests against SA

October 09, 2003 17:47 IST

Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif has pulled out of the two-Test series against South Africa later this month.

The former Pakistan captain, who turns 35 next week, said he would not be available for the two matches because of "family commitments".

But Latif also told Reuters on Thursday: "I have informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today that I would be available for the home and away series against New Zealand after the South Africa Tests."

The first Test against South Africa in Lahore starts on October 17, with the second test in Faisalabad a week later.

Latif stepped down as captain a week before the South Africans arrived in Pakistan but was retained in the squad for the one-day series before the tests.

"I would be playing the last two one-dayers in Rawalpindi after which I have some commitments to take care of," he said.

Latif, who has appeared in 37 Tests and 164 one-dayers since his debut in 1992, said he resigned as captain because of pressures associated with the job.

But the Pakistan media suggested he had stepped down because of differences with chief selector Aamer Sohail over team matters in the series against Bangladesh last month.

Latif had also told the Board he was quitting the game altogether but then reversed his decision and decided to play against South Africa. "That was because of the pressure put on me by my family, friends and well-wishers," he added.

The controversial wicketkeeper batsman said on Thursday he had taken no decision on his retirement as yet.

Despite frequent clashes with the cricket authorities Latif is still ranked as the best wicketkeeper in Pakistan and has completed 218 dismissals in one-dayers and another 130 in Tests.

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