Rashid Latif captained Pakistan 6 times in his 11-year international career. He played a few gritty knocks but towards the end of his career, he got into the bad books of cricket lovers after he cheated in a Test against Bangladesh in 2003.
Latif claimed to have taken the catch of Bangladesh batsman Alok Kapali, but while completing the catch, he dropped the ball and then picked it up again. The umpires were blind sighted as Latif’s body blocked their view. It looked like a routine catch, but the reverse angle cameras clearly show that he, in fact, did not take the catch cleanly.
Pakistan already had an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series, going into the final Test at Multan. Pakistan had won the first Test at Karachi by 7 wickets and followed that up with a 9-wicket win in the second Test at Peshawar.
While the result of the third Test would not have mattered in the context of the series, but for Bangladesh it was a matter of winning their maiden Test, having been elevated to Test status less than 3 years before the Multan Test.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat. They put up 281 on the board thanks to 72 from Habibul Bashar and 49 from Rajin Saleh. Mohammad Rafique and skipper Khaled Mahmud shared 9 wickets between them to help Bangladesh bowl Pakistan out for just 175. With a 106-run first innings lead, Bangladesh were in the driver’s seat. They would have wanted to set Pakistan a target of 350-400 in the fourth innings to chase.
But Bangladesh showed their inexperience and were bundled out for just 154, setting Pakistan 261 to win.
Pakistan kept picking up regular intervals in the Bangladesh second innings. They were under the pump and knew they needed to restrict Bangladesh to a low score for them to have a chance. Kapali came in at No. 6 after the dismissal of Javed Omar. He had to retire hurt briefly due to an arm injury. After coming back to the field, just when he looked set, he edged one to Latif off debutant Yasir Ali. Latif threw himself to his right, caught the ball. But when rolled to get control of the ball, but the ball popped out of his glove. He then picked up the ball and celebrated with his teammates.
Law 33 of the Laws of cricket states that “If a ball hits the bat or the hand holding the bat and is then caught by the opposition within the field of play before the ball bounces, then the batsman is out.”
Clearly, Latif had violated the rule.
What happened next?
Inzamam-ul-Haq’s heroic unbeaten 138 took Pakistan to a closely fought 1-wicket win, which helped Pakistan complete a 3-0 clean sweep.
Latif was banned in the consequent 5-match ODI series against Bangladesh as match referee Mike Procter found him guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.
Latif admitted to his offence 6 years after the incident. “I dived to my right to take a Kapali nick. The ball dropped from my gloves as I rolled over but quickly picked it up from the ground before claiming it as a clean catch,” Latif told Desh TV, a Bangladesh TV channel.
Latif never played another Test for Pakistan
Bangladesh had to wait 15 more months to register their maiden Test win – against Zimbabwe at Chittagong in January 2005.
Bangladesh 281 (Habibul Bashar 72, Rajin Saleh 49; Umar Gul 4-86, Shabbir Ahmed 3-70) & 154 (Rajin Saleh 42, Khaled Mashud 28; Umar Gul 4-58, Shabbir Ahmed 4-68) lost to Pakistan 175 (Yasir Hameed 39, Younis Khan 34; Mohammad Rafique 5-36, Khaled Mahmud 4-37) & 262-9 (Inzamam Ul Haq 138*, Salman Butt 37; Khaled Mahmud 3-68, Manjural Islam 2-64) by 1 wicket.
Player of the match: Inzamam Ul Haq