The IPL mess October 4, 2010

Lawson is Kochi coach. Or is he?

Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has said he has signed up as the head coach of the controversial Kochi team in the IPL, but there remains confusion over his appointment - the franchise is in the middle of a dispute over ownership and control among consortium members.

Lawson told ESPNcricinfo that the official designation was that of 'head coach' over a two-year-period, adding, "I have shaken hands on the deal and will probably be in India late next week to get started." Yet, in keeping with the recent confusion around the Kochi IPL franchise, team owners - who paid $333.33m for the franchise earlier this year - contacted by ESPNcricinfo would not confirm Lawson's new job, stating that they were in discussions with other candidates.

The Kochi consortium is expected to register itself as a joint venture company following the BCCI's demands - made at its recent AGM - that the two groups fighting for control reach an agreement.

At that meeting, Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said it would issue a show-cause notice to Kochi because it had received two letters from rival groups of Kochi owners, with each group asking to be recognised as the franchise owner and wanting the other de-recognised. In order to sort out the ownership issue, the BCCI has asked them to be incorporated into a single company within ten days of receiving the show-cause. "If they do that in accordance of the original rules of the IPL ownership, we are okay with the Kochi franchise," Manohar said.

Lawson's highest-profile coaching job was his 15-month stint in charge of the Pakistan team from July 2007. He helped them reach the final of the inaugural World Twenty20 but his partnership with inexperienced captain Shoaib Malik did not get to blossom as 2008 was a barren year for Pakistan - Australia pulled out of a full tour, the Champions Trophy was postponed and Pakistan were left to play minnows like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo