Asia Cup / News

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Super Four, Asia Cup, Karachi

Journalists storm out of Lawson conference

Osman Samiuddin

June 29, 2008

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Geoff Lawson's conduct in the post-match press conference led to a media boycott © AFP
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Journalists stormed out of Geoff Lawson's press conference as tempers frayed after Pakistan's 64-run loss to Sri Lanka, which pushed the hosts to the brink of elimination.

A visibly irate Lawson, Pakistan's coach, attended in place of captain Shoaib Malik and immediately set down some ground rules. "Couple of rules before we start. Don't make statements, ask questions. If someone asks a question twice, I won't answer it. Make questions sensible, otherwise I won't answer it."

A senior journalist then asked him whether he was dictating to the media several times, prompting Lawson to tell him to "improve his English." Lawson then pointed his finger at another reporter's face and told him, "If you are rude I'll have to leave."

He then made to walk off, decided against it and walked back in. At this point, another senior local journalist led a boycott and the entire multinational media contingent walked out, an indicator of the poor relationship Lawson has had with the local media.

Lawson, who was appointed in August 2007, has had a troubled time in Pakistan. After Pakistan lost to South Africa in Karachi, in his first Test as coach, he attended a fractious post-match conference. Since then, his interactions with the media have been mostly cool, often tense.

To add to his troubles, Pakistan's on-field performances since he took over have been poor. The Pakistan board, and a number of players privately have been unimpressed by his contributions. A couple of officials told Cricinfo during the Kitply Cup that Lawson's position, as well as that of the captain, were under the scanner and performances in the Asia Cup would be instrumental in deciding his future.

He has also had a difficult time with the selection committee since his arrival, with several documented run-ins over selection. In an interview to an Australian radio station, he criticised the ad-hoc manner in which selectors operate in Pakistan. The committee, in turn, is less than impressed with his contributions till now.

With Pakistan almost out of the tournament - they need to beat India and Bangladesh and hope for other results to go their way - it is almost certain Lawson's position will come under review after the tournament, if not over the next few days.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
Related Links
News : Lawson apologises for media outburst
Players/Officials: Geoff Lawson
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup
Teams: Pakistan
Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Karachi - Jul 6, 2008
Sri Lanka won by 100 runs
Pakistan v Bangladesh at Karachi - Jul 4, 2008
Pakistan won by 10 wickets (with 182 balls remaining)
India v Sri Lanka at Karachi - Jul 3, 2008
India won by 6 wickets (with 19 balls remaining)
Pakistan v India at Karachi - Jul 2, 2008
Pakistan won by 8 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Karachi - Jun 30, 2008
Sri Lanka won by 158 runs
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