Cricket: Wasim steps down as Pakistan's captain

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The Independent Online
Wasim Akram has given in to the pressure of the job and stepped down as the captain of Pakistan after having to contend with accusations of match-fixing and threats from disgruntled fans. He is being replaced by Rashid Latif, the wicketkeeper and former vice-captain.

Wasim, a veteran of 77 Test matches and 238 one-day internationals, hopes to carry on playing at the highest level.

"These [match-fixing] allegations have taken a toll on me," he said. "I am a human being, too, and there is a limit to everything. I can't sustain the pressure any more."

Wasim, who led Pakistan in 17 Test matches, winning nine and losing four, said that when Pakistan lose he receives death threats from fans. "It's very sad that after serving the country with so much dedication and distinction, you get such a treatment," he said.

Wasim, 32, the only player to take 300 wickets in Tests and one-day internationals, added: "Whatever cricket is left in me, I would love to enjoy it as a player, but certainly not as a captain of Pakistan. I think I have no longer any motivation to lead Pakistan."

Pakistan's future fixtures include a tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, after a triangular tournament in Bangladesh this month.