October 26, 2008

New age

Played none, lost none, you're fired

Kamran Abbasi
Geoff Lawson points out instructions during training, Karachi, July 1, 2008
 © AFP

The stats speak for themselves: Pakistan haven't played a single Test match this year. In these circumstances you might wonder how the coach could have failed. But failed he has, according to the scapegoat logic of the new Pakistan Cricket Board regime. True, it is hard to say that Geoff Lawson succeeded, but it is equally hard to say that he has failed. The evidence is insufficient for either argument to be tenable. Hence, the treatment of Lawson is one of the most diabolical chapters in the painful modern history of Pakistan cricket.

If that wasn't enough, his replacement is likely to be Intikhab Alam, a man whose coaching days ended before many of the current generation of Pakistan fans were born. Indeed, how much he "coached" in the modern sense is open to question. Turning to Alam is a further sign that the PCB is without imaginative solutions, and without any understanding of what today's professional sports administration requires.

Whenever I raise such concerns, a few readers are invariably offended by this negative view of Pakistan cricket. My answer to them and the Lords of the PCB is do something that makes us think you know what you are doing and we will give you a break. But first of all, you need to give Pakistan fans some respite from this unending deluge of miserable decision making.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Kamran Abbasi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Owais on (November 12, 2008, 16:13 GMT)

This is utter stupidity. Why does a new administration have to undo everything previous administration did ? Who does Mr. Butt think he is ? Did everything Shehriyar Khan and Nasim Ashraf did was wrong ? Why blame coaches Woolmer and Lawson for all the failures ? why no blame on jerks called Shoaib Akhter, Mohammad Asif (and complete loser), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal ?? I mean for God sakes, if nothing, Lawson tried his level best to market Pakistan to foreign teams. If he was not good enough for the team, atleast he could have been utilized at the cricket academy. After all he produced future the top class Aussie captains while leading his state side. What makes us think that Javed Miandad would be a good coach ? I think foreign coaches have given us a lot - and they had the sense of "izzat" as well. After World cup debacle, the only izzat-daar person in the touring party died of heart attack. REst of them were all losers, izzat farosh bunch.....

Posted by Anil on (November 11, 2008, 19:05 GMT)

Posted by: Ismail at November 5, 2008 8:45 AM

Maybe the global recesssion has had serious consequences on the PCB which forced it to retort to extreme steps like downsizing & Lawson had proved to be the firsty major casuality. ----------------------

I liked ur comment man,but R U SERIOUS:))

Posted by Muhammad Haris on (November 6, 2008, 14:45 GMT)

I certainly feel that Rashid Latif should be the coach of Pakistan Cricket Team.. His academy is doing pretty well under him, I think he will be a great choice for now.

Posted by Mohamed Jameel padikkalkandy on (November 6, 2008, 5:36 GMT)

it is high time pakistan cricket authorities learnt the hard fact that coach is a panacea for all the trouble plauging national team.The problems facing pakistan cricket is deeper. There need to be a complete restructuring of domestic cricket infrastructure to make it more professional.Undoubtedly, pakistan has pool of talent, but it need to be harnessed in a systematic and professional way. Erlier pakistan cricket rode on the glorious leadership of Imran Khan, who spotted many talent and nurtued them, After the departure of these players, pakistan cricket has not really recovered. Therefore, the help of criketers like Imran Khan should be sought by the authorites in the restructuring. Imran Khan with his wealth of experiecnce and uncanny ability to spot talent can again bring glory to the pakistan cricket.But he should be given authority uninfluenced by poliitcs.

Posted by DesiHungama on (November 5, 2008, 21:48 GMT)

Readers! This is very interesting. Javed Miandad was the first choice as our national team coach, a statement came from the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. Now, nothing is wrong with that statement. Sounds like a statement coming from a chairman who really truely cares for all the ills our cricket is facing today. Now, listen to this. Javed Miandad has been banned for sometime to enter the country of India indefinately. Reason, he married his daughter off to this gangster Chota Shakeel who is wanted in India on terrorism/rackateering charges. Now, lets get back to what our PCB chariman said: Miandad was his first choice as the coach? I feel like hitting my head in the wall right now. What do you say?

Posted by amer on (November 5, 2008, 17:00 GMT)

Wasim should have been appointed the coach. Apart from being inspirational he would have attracted sponsors given the lack of star quality in the team. Now, if that is not an indictment of the current crop of players then I do not know what is!

Posted by Ismail on (November 5, 2008, 8:45 GMT)

Maybe the global recesssion has had serious consequences on the PCB which forced it to retort to extreme steps like downsizing & Lawson had proved to be the firsty major casuality.

Posted by shafiq on (November 3, 2008, 10:29 GMT)

Pramod Thanks alot for Excellent post! Posted by: Pramod at November 1, 2008 7:02 PM I'm an Indian. Over the years, I've transformed from a guy who was taught to hate the idea of Pakistan, to one who thinks of Pakistanis now as lost brothers who I'd love to know better. Maybe I've grown more able to think for myself as I've grown older, or maybe we have actually grown closer as peoples, maybe a bit of both

The single biggest difference in my mind, between Pakistan and India, is the strength of the feudal mindset in Pakistan. I'm just a lay person mind you, not some expert sociologist who's studied all this in detail, but in little bits and pieces every day, every week, I see it

The feudal mindset in Pakistan is still very strong. It may not be driven by land ownership as in the old days of Europe, but it's like a mai-baap culture, where things get done only through influence and power

Lawson did not have a mai-baap any more, simple as that, isn't it ?

Posted by AK Khan on (November 2, 2008, 14:54 GMT)

Malik should keep the captaincy for now, until at least the second T20 World cup, there is no doubting he is the best T20 captain around at the moment, but there is no denying that he also has a defensive mind and a "Me first" attitude, today against Federal Areas, Malik pushed himself down to number 7 from number 5(where he batted in Punjabs first innings) because Akhtar was on fire, wat a pussy.

Posted by JamJar on (November 2, 2008, 11:21 GMT)


unlike the majority of sheep on this blog, i completely disagree with you. I think your melodramatic statements are well over hyped. The combination of lawson-malik hardly set the world alight, barring the fluke of reaching the World Twnety20 finals. We didnt see anything inspiring in the little we did see of Pakistan against top class opposition. And indeed, we shall see further changes after Pak get whalloped by India next year, namely the captain.

Coaches are always being hired and fired. You seem to think this is always PCB's illness. But this sort of thing clearly happens in other sports. Cue Tottenahm Hotspur's sacking of Martin Jol last year, a man who led them to 5th in the premier league one season and shambolically sacked the next!

The choice of coach seems right up PCB's policy of the re-hiring the tried and tested. In terms of coaches, why not try the legends of waqar or wasim as coaches or even Dav Whatmore to whip the 'boys' into shape!

Comments have now been closed for this article


Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

All articles by this writer