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Time for Inzamam to retire from test cricket - Latif

Written by: Staff

KARACHI, Sep 11, (Reuters) Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes current skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq should withdraw from the test side and concentrate on playing in one-day internationals.

The 36-year-old Inzamam returns to Pakistan today after a controversial tour of England, where his side lost the test series and his one-day team slipped to fourth position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) world rankings.

Pakistan were beaten 3-0 in the tests and lost the last two one-dayers over the weekend as England battled back to earn a 2-2 draw in the five-match series.

''I just think the responsibility of leading the team in test and one-day cricket is proving to be a big burden for Inzamam,'' Latif told Reuters today.

''At his age, it is never easy.

''In my opinion he would be better off just playing one-day matches. It would ease the pressure and allow him to give more to the team and extend his career.'' Despite being retained as captain for next month's Champions Trophy in India, Inzamam faces a two-day ICC disciplinary hearing in London from September 27 and could face a ban of up to eight one-day internationals.

He is charged with ball-tampering and bringing the game into disrepute during the controversial fourth test at the Oval, where his team refused to play on after the umpires changed the ball and penalised them five runs.

Inzamam replaced Latif as captain in November 2003 after the latter was banned for five one-dayers in a home series against Bangladesh for claiming an unfair catch.

''If Inzamam just plays one-day cricket I think the team will benefit a lot and could do well in next year's World Cup.'' Latif added.

''He can contribute a lot more as batsman if he is relaxed and free from the pressures of test cricket.'' REUTERS PDS GC1324

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