Karachi, Nov 25 (IANS) Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif Thursday masterminded Afghanistan's stunning triumph over Pakistan in the Asian Games men's Twenty20 cricket semi-finals in Guangzhou and then declared that he won't be celebrating the victory against his home country.
Latif, a former Pakistan Test wicketkeeper, is now Afghanistan's national coach and has played a major role in the team's enormous progress at the international level.
His team is in the Asian Games final but Rashid would have been a happier man had the win come against any team but Pakistan. Latif said he shares the feelings of his countrymen following the shocking defeat.
"After all, I am a Pakistani and have felt the same as every other Pakistani after the defeat of my home country," he said.
Latif praised Afghans for their hard work.
"The win against Pakistan is a result of sheer hard work done by the boys at the camp set up prior to the Asian Games in Jalalabad," he said.
"To boost the confidence of the Afghan players I did advice them, on the eve of the match, to recite a verse from the Holy Quran which says 'Don't be scared of your rivals in war. Understand that they are also human and are scared as well'."
"I am glad the way the players have responded and with this kind of enthusiasm, I am confident that soon they will make a mark for themselves."
"I hope the confidence will help the team in doing well in the final," concluded Latif. Afghanistan meet Bangladesh in the final.
After the victory, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called and congratulated the whole team and management.