Pakistan cricket July 30, 2008

Miandad backs under-pressure Lawson

Cricinfo staff

Javed Miandad feels sacking Lawson now would set a bad precedent © AFP

Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain, has defended the current national coach Geoff Lawson, arguing that the Australian "should be allowed to complete his contract".

"Nowhere in the world are contracts treated with such contempt," Miandad told Geo TV. "In our [Pakistan] cricket system there is a proper contract system for coaches and players with relevant clauses. Yet despite repeated breaches no action is taken by the board.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is bound to adhere to the contractual terms. Nowhere is a coach or player allowed to give statements with board officials having a say on every issue, except in Pakistan. They should allow Lawson to complete his contract but if he wants out himself that is another issue."

He quoted his own experience as coach of the national side. "What example of discipline can you set by not honouring a valid contract? They (PCB) did the same with me. I had a legal contract with them and yet behind my back they were negotiating with another coach (Woolmer)."

Lawson was appointed coach in August last year for a two-year term, but has had a mixed run so far; under him Pakistan have lost series to South Africa and India and failed to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup, held at home.

Pakistan did, however, reach the final of the Twenty20 World Cup last year and win the Kitply Cup in Dhaka in June this year. However, speculation has been rife about his fate and though privately board officials are not thought to be impressed by him, officially he has the board's backing. Nasim Ashraf, the board chairman, said recently, after the Asia Cup, that both captain Shoaib Malik and Lawson would retain their jobs.

The team's next assignment is a likely three-match ODI series against New Zealand at home, ahead of the Champions Trophy to be held in Pakistan in September 2008.