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Pakistan urged to reward more regional players

Pakistan urged to reward more regional players

Former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif has called for a quota system to boost the number of national team players from smaller cities.
"Pakistan is a big country of over 160 million people, but we mostly see players from Karachi and Lahore wearing the green cap," Latif told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
"I know these (big) cities have thousands of talented players, but why are we neglecting rest of the country?" he said.
"The PCB can give Lahore and Karachi 70 per cent of representation in the national team, but please look out for 30 per cent from smaller cities."
The top management of country's cricket board is under severe scrutiny after Pakistan was whitewashed in both test and one-day series on its tour of Australia.
"We have witnessed many captains and chairmen in the past ten years but the performance (of the national team) has not improved," Latif said.
"Changing personalities will not solve the problem, we have to utilize talent in smaller cities."
In the past 11 years, the Pakistan Cricket Board has had four chairmen and in just 12 months, the national team has had four captains across test, one-day and Twenty20 internationals.
Latif, who played 37 tests and 166 one-day internationals before retiring in 2003, runs a cricket academy in his hometown of Karachi which has produced test players like Younis Khan, Asim Kamal, Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif.
Recently he opened another academy in Haripur _ a small city in North West Frontier Province. He also plans to open two other academies this year _ in Multan (Punjab province) and Sukkur, a city of Sindh province.
Latif said the national team was being held back by a failure to reward the strong performances of regional players in domestic competition.
"If countries like South Africa and India can practice it, then why can't we try it in Pakistan?"
Latif said such quotas could be extended to apply to off-field positions too.
"The proposed methodology should not be confined to the players but should also be extended to the team officials," Latif said.
"It would provide people from other parts of the country with an opportunity to serve and benefit the sport in Pakistan."