Coach's fallout with the press June 30, 2008

Lawson apologises for media outburst

Cricinfo staff

Geoff Lawson's apology is an attempt to calm strained relations with the media in Pakistan © AFP

Geoff Lawson, Pakistan's coach, has apologised to the media a day after the heated press conference following the defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday, which left them on the brink of elimination from the Asia Cup.

Media persons had walked out after Lawson asked a senior journalist to "improve his English" and told another reporter "if you are rude I'll have to leave." The remarks came right after Lawson laid down a few rules for reporters before fielding questions. "Don't make statements, ask questions," he said. "If someone asks a question twice, I won't answer it. Make questions sensible, otherwise I won't answer it."

Lawson apologised through a statement issued by the PCB. "I would like to clarify that the incident that took place at the press conference after the Pakistan and Sri Lanka match is most unfortunate," he said. "What happened was regrettable and I would like to apologise for the events that led to the incident.

"I assure everyone that as coach of the Pakistan team, I look forward to having healthy, cordial and good relations with the media as has been the case in the past," he said. "I appreciate that the media has a job on hand to do and at the end of the day our collective efforts should be focused on getting good performances from the team."

The journalists who attended the conference, though, categorically refused to accept the apology. They demanded an apology from Lawson in person, and not through a press release. They wore black armbands and protested for 15 minutes outside the National Stadium in the break between the innings of the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh match.

It took a handwritten letter from Lawson apologising "unconditionally" to appease the journalists. While they are satisfied for the time being, they are expecting an apology from Lawson in person on Tuesday, after Pakistan's training session at the DHA Ground.

Lawson hasn't had the best relations with the media since an irritable post-match press conference after Pakistan lost to South Africa in Karachi last August, his first Test as coach.