January 24, 2008

Pakistan cricket

Another rift in Pakistan cricket

Andrew McGlashan
Nasir Jamshed got his fifty off 40 balls, Pakistan v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Karachi, January 21, 2008
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It's a new year, but there appear to be the same old problems for Pakistan as talk of disagreements between selectors and team management grow stronger. Ahead of the current Zimbabwe series, Shoaib Malik said he preferred Kamran Akmal as opener, but the selectors wanted to try Nasir Jamshed. The Dawn explains further.

Malik’s insistence on playing the struggling wicket-keeper-batsman Kamran Akmal as opener against the Zimbabweans and his unflinching loyalty with a rather expensive Rao Iftikhar are among the few issues that are being constantly debated over by the selectors.

Also, the skipper’s reluctance to try out newer, younger players against Prosper Utseya’s men and his obvious disregard for seasoned all-rounder Shahid Afridi and pacer Umar Gul has also irked the selectors no end.

Now there are also questions being raised as to whether Geoff Lawson is the right man to haul Pakistan out of their slump. Although they reached the World Twenty20 final in September, results have been poor during his short spell in charge. The News says that time is running short for Lawson.

Another charge against Lawson is that he loses his temper too quickly. Sports scribes witnessed it themselves after Pakistan lost the Karachi Test against South Africa last October when Lawson became rude while answering to queries — not an appropriate thing to do considering the fact that it was his first post-match press conference since taking over as national coach. He was also quite unconvincing.

The selectors also got a taste of Lawson’s temper during a few meetings to discuss the team combination ahead and during the ongoing series against Zimbabwe. According to one selector, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Lawson actually becomes ‘unreasonable and rude’ while arguing with the selectors.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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