February 28, 2012

Letter to Whatmore

Geoff Lawson
A former coach welcomes the new arrival with a few words of advice
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Salaam aleikum, Davenell bhai

It has been many years since we first toured with Australia together, back in 1979, when you played so well against India. The wheel has turned almost full circle, just lacking the final shift across the line so artfully drawn by Sir Cyril Radcliffe.

The news of your (eventual) appointment has reached the shores of your former adopted homeland, and I must say I am quite pleased that your name plate will adorn the door of Room 3 at the National Cricket Academy admin block in Lahore. I note that contract negotiations were convoluted, complex and ambivalent, so all seems normal at the PCB.

Hopefully they have cleaned out my cupboards and those back issues of Optometry News, Playboy for Seniors and Golf Digest have been consigned to the garbage, or at least sent over to the player accommodation.

I am sure the PCB liaison man, Zakir Khan, will have let you know about the security arrangements. I recall clearly his words to me when I discussed my possible engagement as the national coach after the untimely demise of Bob Woolmer: "Yes, Geoff, there will be plenty of security, you just won't see them." Comforting indeed, but my biggest fears when living in Lahore did not include IEDs or rogue terror cells but anopheles mosquitoes and dengue fever (which I contracted leaving Pakistan in 1982 and wouldn't wish on my worst enemy).

I hope you get out to the regional centres like Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Sheikhupura to see some of the local cricket. Some of the grounds are very poor and some very good. I would rate the stadium in Multan as one of the best in Asia - it's certainly a far cry from the old ground on top of the hill in the middle of town where we played in 1980 and 1982.

You will find that, contrary to widespread belief outside of Pakistan, there are some quicker pitches that certainly favour seam bowling. If you look at the figures for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy it is usually the pace bowlers who dominate. Occasionally there will be a slow turner; the National Stadium, Karachi, can be either good to bat on or a real haven for the slow bowlers. Generally, up north they produce the stronger, bigger physiques and therefore the faster bowlers.

I was pleasantly surprised by the standards of the better QEA teams. I thought the competition had quality and was robust. It is good when national team-mates go hard at each other in first-class games.

Make sure you have some input into the Pentangular Shield teams' selection. That competition, between five provinces, is the equivalent of the Sheffield Shield. After the 24 or so first-class and corporate teams play their tournament, the national selectors pick five teams to represent Punjab, Sind (the two big boys, whose players come mostly from Lahore and Karachi), North West Frontier Province (now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Baluchistan, and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which include Rawalpindi and Islamabad. They only play each other once in four-day games, but those matches are hard-fought and of an excellent standard.

The guys who do well here are just about ready for the next step, and you never know in Pakistan when some young genius will pop out of the woodwork. Like Mohammad Amir, who has just arrived back in Lahore from detention in England. You should take the 20-minute drive over to Defence Housing and have a chat with him sooner rather than later, to see what his mental state is. I reckon he would benefit from getting straight back into cricket of some kind, if only at club level.

Also, Dav, be careful in the traffic. I know the roads are mostly crammed with bicycles, motorbikes, rickshaws and camel carts that move like treacle through a sieve, but those six lanes leading onto the Liberty Market roundabout remind me of Talladega Nights with Will Ferrell sans beard and driving license. Your experience in Colombo traffic will stand you in good stead, but try to get a driver who speaks passable English and isn't a former auto-rickshaw operator. I wouldn't bother getting behind the wheel myself, based on my driving experiences. I was perfect - three drives, three accidents. None were my fault, of course, as I was using the imperial driving code - which among many details mentions something about driving on the left-hand side of the road where possible - not the South Asian one, where the horn is compulsory and "give way" loosely translates as "go as fast as possible to beat the next guy into the gap that would maybe fit a dinky toy while avoiding the over-laden donkey dray".

I must confess that when I moved into Room 3 at the NCA, most of Bob's stuff, from cricket books to DVDs, rindless-marmalade jars and tea caddy were still there. I did find it a little disconcerting that the personal items of the much loved and respected coach had not been packed and despatched. I'm sure Ijaz Butt will have cleaned out my detritus immediately, given his statements regarding my usefulness to Pakistan cricket after his brother-in-law anointed him chairman of the board after the 2008 general election. Sad days for all.

When in doubt, ask Misbah who should be in the team and he will give you players who aren't someone's second cousin's brother's uncle but rather are the most skilled for that position

With your vast experience in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India, the language barrier should be at ankle height. Most of the guys speak English, falling into a range from "better than Australians" to "you get the drift". Cricket is the universal language, in any case. An outswinger is still gripped the same and a cover drive still gets hit through cover. Urdu and Hindi have many common words, although if they get to speaking Punjabi or Pashto, call for the gardener to translate. He used to run a video shop in the SWAT Valley until the Taliban arrived and issued an edict that no one should have fun.

A huge bonus for you will be that Misbah-ul Haq has taken over the captaincy. He is a bright, well-educated man, who understands the game exceptionally well. When in doubt, ask Misbah who should be in the team and he will give you players who aren't someone's second cousin's brother's uncle but rather are the most skilled for that position. He is a winner and plays no favourites, and will be an excellent sounding board for whatever strategy you feel will work best with the team. He sets a perfect example in work ethic and discipline, and it does make a difference when the senior players are doing all the right things, especially in their culture of age and respect going hand in hand.

Dav, I must issue a note of warning about dealing with the media in Pakistan, especially if you play against India and finish second - although that might never happen in the near future, given the political machinations at the highest level. Speak to Immie on this point: the Lion of Lahore may be the only person in Pakistan who can make it happen; now if only we could get Sachin to stand for the Lok Sabha, we could create cricket detente.

If the local journos want to be disrespectful and force their pre-conceived agendas on you, go right ahead and let them, unless you want several thousand views on Youtube. My son has installed the clip of me walking out of a press conference as my screen saver, so if I want to remind myself of how not to suck up to reporters I just hit Control F6 and amuse myself for three minutes.

But have no fear, Dav, of the man in the street. The press may have their private or provincial agendas, but I found the common man to be most friendly and hospitable. Even when we lost the occasional match, their approach to me was civil and respectful. Not an effigy in sight, burning or whole. They appreciated that a foreigner was in their country to help, to do his best and, win, lose or draw, to show respect for the nation and the culture.

I learned a bit of the lingo and stayed off the booze. I recommend doing at least one of those.

Stay away from politicians, public meetings, police stations or military establishments. If taking the team to the Army School of Physical Training in Abbottabad, stay clear of buildings with just a few too many antennae sticking out of the chimney, and keep your head down if you hear helicopters approaching.

That's about it, mate. These guys can play some wonderful cricket, and I'm sure they will listen and learn and benefit from your enormous knowledge of the game. I look forward to visiting you at Gaddafi Stadium when Australia return to play a Test there. When that happens, cricket really will be the winner.

All the best

Sahib Henry

Geoff Lawson played 46 Test matches for Australia, and has coached NSW and Pakistan. He now commentates on the game for ABC Radio

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    We respect the true and advize of our ex great coach to Mr,Witmore, who has a very large experience with Sub-continante teams. I hope he can handle the players very well, our players are also respect our management staff who works them in the field as well out of the field. We have a knowlegde how our players respect our late coach, still every one remember what a nice person he was and how much he worked for the betterment of our cricket, We wellcomr Mr.Witmore and hope he will be do what ever we need. specially our team needs batting and fielding improvement , Best of luck

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    wonderfull words ... jeff holds a very respectful place in pakistan cricket family

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | March 2, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    A truely honourary Pakistani, I salute you Mr Geoff Lawson, for you have shown much affection for a nation suffering at the hands of foreign neglect and ignorance.

  • POSTED BY No1_Jon on | March 2, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    This was a great read, very witty, amusing and most of all truthful!

  • POSTED BY rusheel10 on | March 2, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    lol !!!!!!!!!!!!! three drives three accidents

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | March 1, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    GEOFF LAWSON is a great friend of Pakistan cricket. I admire him and wish to see him in Pakistan as head coach of cricket academy

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Well written Sahib Henry :) You described the common man well :D

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Thnk u Geoff....thnk u very much But I as a PAkistani is appologizing that we could not do frindship with u...

  • POSTED BY TnoSugar on | March 1, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    A thoughtful and balanced reflection on his time in Pakistan. The only gap for me was that he did not say if he thought our cricketers were physically fit. In my opinion they are not certainly on an aerobic level or just strength - look how mnay times our batsmen have been out due run outs and caught because the bat twisted whilst playing the shot.

    By the way Choudary Asad: "Henry" is lawson's nickname

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    wonderful to read as a pakistani myself :) just love the way he appreciated things thanks alot

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    We respect the true and advize of our ex great coach to Mr,Witmore, who has a very large experience with Sub-continante teams. I hope he can handle the players very well, our players are also respect our management staff who works them in the field as well out of the field. We have a knowlegde how our players respect our late coach, still every one remember what a nice person he was and how much he worked for the betterment of our cricket, We wellcomr Mr.Witmore and hope he will be do what ever we need. specially our team needs batting and fielding improvement , Best of luck

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    wonderfull words ... jeff holds a very respectful place in pakistan cricket family

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | March 2, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    A truely honourary Pakistani, I salute you Mr Geoff Lawson, for you have shown much affection for a nation suffering at the hands of foreign neglect and ignorance.

  • POSTED BY No1_Jon on | March 2, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    This was a great read, very witty, amusing and most of all truthful!

  • POSTED BY rusheel10 on | March 2, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    lol !!!!!!!!!!!!! three drives three accidents

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | March 1, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    GEOFF LAWSON is a great friend of Pakistan cricket. I admire him and wish to see him in Pakistan as head coach of cricket academy

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Well written Sahib Henry :) You described the common man well :D

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Thnk u Geoff....thnk u very much But I as a PAkistani is appologizing that we could not do frindship with u...

  • POSTED BY TnoSugar on | March 1, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    A thoughtful and balanced reflection on his time in Pakistan. The only gap for me was that he did not say if he thought our cricketers were physically fit. In my opinion they are not certainly on an aerobic level or just strength - look how mnay times our batsmen have been out due run outs and caught because the bat twisted whilst playing the shot.

    By the way Choudary Asad: "Henry" is lawson's nickname

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    wonderful to read as a pakistani myself :) just love the way he appreciated things thanks alot

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    wow wow wow what an article hats off to lawson pakistani cricket is proud of u

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    for all the people who think its written by lawson please read the name at the bottom as its not written by lawson but by sahib henry

  • POSTED BY Cricket_theBestGame on | March 1, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    great article Geoff sahib! i wish there were more westeners like you who had thinking of decent human being and not hidden agendas. keep up the good work and keep writing fair, unbiased just articles.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    Hi Geoff, Good day

    I must say, its a very well crafted and thought out letter. The amount of work and effort you had put in for Pakistan Cricket is evident in your writing. Its a pity that we had a Chairman Like "BUTT SB"(who has more weight then sense :)), and I hope Zaka Ashraf will do well, although is also is a product of an ad hoc system and appointed by our beloved President :(

    Thank you mate for all of your efforts, trust me Pakistani people are extremely friendly and peace loving as any other vibrant nation in the world

    Thanks for your efforts again, and we all looking forward to see you soon in Pakistan as ABC commentator and respected Ex Coach of Pakistan Cricket.

    Look after your self Chao

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    Geoff - Very well written. You are right on so many points. Thanks for understanding us. We have lost you but hopefully Dave will do a wonderful job. Thanks again!

  • POSTED BY TouseefAhmad on | February 29, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Undoubtedly the best article I have seen on on cricinfo. Geoff Lawson you are great. You will always be seen with respect by all Pakistanis

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | February 29, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Geoff Lawson for India team coach pls..

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    One of the best Article i ever read on Pakistan Cricket,We Love You Geoff!

  • POSTED BY crktcrzy on | February 29, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    I thought of Geoff Lawson as an arrogant yet clueless guy who had little idea of Pakistan, its culture & issues despite remaining the national cricket coach for a long time- until I read this article. Hats off to the great man. Here is someone who sounds really honest and caring. Now I understand that it was the "Dady Butt" who was the culprit- not Lawson. So sad that they couldn't benefit from you, Geoff.

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Really some good stuff to read

  • POSTED BY pontingkhan on | February 29, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Henry Sahib....Zinda Baad ! Henry Sahib...Zinger Burger !!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Excellent letter hopefully Dav can be a good influence on team green

  • POSTED BY salmanzaffar on | February 29, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    Well Written Geoff! really enjoyed reading it!

  • POSTED BY Baber_Baloch on | February 29, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    As a Pakistani after great bobb we have great love respect fot Lawson, in future same will give respect to Wharmore. We love cricket as cricket nation alos world all cricketers.Welcome Whatmore in PAk. we have have wish to cricket nation come again....thanks

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | February 29, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    A gentleman coach who will always be remembered with respect, on the contrary the man who sacked him will be remembered for his arrogance.

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    what a miss for pakistani cricket. When Geoff really got the understanding of local values and customs he was shown the door.Hope this will not happen to DAVEVELL BAHI

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Best article on cricinfo i have ever read. you are great Geoff.

  • POSTED BY cricio on | February 29, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    After Legendary Bobb Woolmer, He was the person who got most respect from PCB and nation Pakistan. Geff Lawson was too good for Pakistan Cricket team. Indian Board should have his services...

  • POSTED BY umairasgharbutt on | February 29, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Lawson should join Dev as supporting staff !

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Where you og Lawson.......interesting and entertaining! One of best article I have examined. You're one of the most talented and skillful person, who try to bring Pak team into number one but, unfortunately, the unprofessional man (Butt) doesn't allowed you!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    wee all very sorry for the way ijaz butt treated you. but i am glad u realize that not all of us are like that

  • POSTED BY on | February 29, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Love the clip Geoff. Beautiful. And enjoyed you speaking on a cricinfo podcast about pakistan recently - knowledgeable and warm about the country. You obviously enjoyed your time there.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | February 29, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    The most entertaining and informative read on Cricinfo in a long time. I have already read it twice. Well done Henry.

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | February 29, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    BCCI, can we please have Geoff Lawson on the support team for India? He is a guy who can bring the best out of the young Indian fast bowlers. We don't need Duncan Fletcher.

  • POSTED BY nathangonmad on | February 29, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    Its a absolute travesty Mohsin Khan hasn't been allowed to continue as Pakistan's couch. I see a coach/captain fallout soon for Pakistan and there going to be worse of because of it.

  • POSTED BY FarhanSabir on | February 29, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    People in Pakistan still have a great respect for you Lawson. Its a shame you are not working for Pakistan cricket anymore, but I would love to see you back here soon.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Geoff, can you come back and join Dav Whatmore in the coaching department buddy, your expertise will be much appreciated under this new set up!

    I love the fact that despite the way the board treated you, you still maintain love and respect for the players, the country and its people.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 28, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    @Naren - you are free to post any comment you like, however, why bother when you admit "...I just visited this page just to post my comments..." When I see a comment that starts that way, I know I should NOT read on, but I couldn't help myself & I was NOT surprised by the rest. I can assure you I will NEVER read your book!!!!

  • POSTED BY drinks.break on | February 28, 2012, 22:11 GMT

    @Arun Jetli, what do you mean "a white coach"? Go to Dav Whatmore's cricinfo page and see how "white" he is ... he's a Sri Lankan, for goodness' sake! Yes, he emigrated to Australia as a child, but I can tell you that emigrant Sri Lankans are often more Lankan than those who remain at home, and his coaching experience shows just how well he fits in to sub-continental contexts.

    In other words, he's the best of both worlds - the colour and culture of the sub-continent with significant experience also in the West.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    we owe u an apology lawson....u were a very gud coach but ijaz butt was a very bad administrator...we are thankful for ur support and appreciate ur efforts

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | February 28, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    I love Geogg Lawson, he has real passion for the Pakistan cricket and for cricket in general, It is pity that his stint was cut short. I would love to see him on Indian support team.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_MN on | February 28, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    Good read specially the funny part where it says that

    "ask Misbah who should be in the team and he will give you players"

    Sure please ask Misbah so that he can bring in players like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat and many more sifarishis :).

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    whatever he is writing is what I already know, but as a Pakistani, I am suddenly finding a different flavour in all this. Kipling's account of Lahore and now Lawson's account of PCB and Pakistan cricket, always a pleasure to read :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    An Excellent article, but I hope that Whatmore will more successful, then Lawson was ever in his tenure as a coach. Lawson was a failure , and he had a few problems with the Pakistani media. The most successful foreign coach in Pakistan 's history Bob Woolmer never had those problems because he was humble and polite.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    This guy alawys speaks nice about Pakistan. I want to thank him as Pakistani to speak well for Pakistan which we does not often hear these days.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    i agree to almost everything written here, except for the 'praise' of misbah, who apparently is not a winner and does play second cousins of somebody's brother! Welcome to the hot seat Whatmore! Hope to see you deliver good results!

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    With that impressive moustache Whatmore will fit right in.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    Mr. Lawson, you just summarized a country in the best possible manner. Hope to see you soon in Pakistan. :)

  • POSTED BY Ammy_rd on | February 28, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    Lovely way to share ones memories and experience about a country misunderstood by most. Never knew that Geoff lawson in his short time as coach developed such a strong bond with Pakistan and Pakistanis. Pakistan is a tough place to be in for foreigners, more so for what is heard than what actually happens. The system here doesn't quite work the way it should but there is a purity of heart in the people here that strikes a chord with those who visit.

  • POSTED BY nafridi on | February 28, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    Dear Geoff, what a lovely piece of writing.Like a true professional, it is apparent that you dug deep and the depth of your knowledge about not only Pakistani cricket, but the Pakistani society, is a testament to your passion for Pakistan. I can feel the warmth and affection in your words for this country that is subtle yet persistent. From the grounds, to the talent, to the dengue, to the traffic, to the cousin brother uncle factor, to the Pasho speaking gardner, to the fact that NWFP is now called KP, to the Indian rivalry to the common man being friendly, respectable and hospitable, you have summed up the country's ethos. I am pleasantly amazed to know a foreigner (but not so much) knows this country so well and how it works despite its flaws. In the end I hope that this letter of ur's ot only helps Dev but also provide an opportunity to the present board to reflect on the areas of improvement. It is most visible even to the blind that all you wish for this country is well. Takecare

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    A great letter!....I have real respect for you Mr. Geoff Lawson....Pakistan was unlucky to lose you so early

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I've had huge respect for him. Good read.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Excellent latter ...nice to see lawson is un biased to pakistan and pakistan cricket..

  • POSTED BY Umms on | February 28, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Mr. Lawson, many of us believe, that you are a cricketer or coach who try his best to lift a team. A team who was ver talented, but some times they beat themselves. But I never knew, that you were a keen observer. Pakistani cricket definately miss you, may be you can come as administrator of PCB. But just a question, how will you improve Pakistani fielding????How Mr. Dav can do that? We need atleast five decent catchers and fielders. Do you have any solution?

  • POSTED BY Sports4Youth on | February 28, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Dear Lawson, the part that struck me most was when you siad that Misbah does not believe in favoritiesm. But Misbah has just given a glaring example of favoritism in picking Shoeb Mallik despite his failures in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh series.

  • POSTED BY k.mithilesh on | February 28, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Am I the only one who can sense an uncouth kind of orientalism at work in this article....

  • POSTED BY nafdan on | February 28, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    if dav have read this article it will be better for him to have mr.lawson by his side as a bowling coach ( when useless aaqib goes to uae team)... I believe if dav and lawson work together can make wonders to pakistan cricket

  • POSTED BY Toescrusher on | February 28, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Jeff Lawson Bhai, you forgot to mention Karachi Lahore issue while selecting the Pakistan Cricket Team. Here are few things you may want to add to your letter:

    Karachi: Population 18 Million only the 10th largest city in the world

    Batsmen given to Pakistan: Hanif Mohammed, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Asif Iqbal, Saeed Anwere, Basit Ali, Tasleem Arif, Mohsin Khan, Qasim Umer ...

    Suggestion to Davenell bhai: If you want to see your team chasing 300 plus runs successfully, in the 2nd inning you must not remain short of supporting batsmen from Karachi otherwise you will do the same what Wasim Akram did i.e. just make 200 runs and try to win the game through bowling.

  • POSTED BY Tamilpower on | February 28, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Excellent tongue in cheek article by a wonderful observer and servant of the game! Its just a shame that that Geoff was in tenure during the days of the most kleptocratic administration in sporting history (Speaking of Pakistan.. that's saying something)! Anyhow I hope Dave is allowed to get on with it!He is obviously cultured enough having been coach of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and stints in India so he will adjust.. its the PCB that we are worried about! Anyhow great article and great advice!

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    First of all welcome to My country ,the land of unlimited talent,they have passion,dedication for cricket ,the sport they loved ,the sport which unite the nation. Two thing should you,r priority 1st be on the side of merit not nepotism. 2nd realize-them(to player) that they can,,,self believe ,self confidence. Soon you will see the Boom in our cricket......... thank you and take care.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | February 28, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Sounds like Geoff Lawson Bhai fell in love with Pakistan for all the good and bad it offers. I have always admired him and yearning for a day when I see Geoff Lawson sitting next to Dav Wathmore, hosting Australia. Thank you Geoff for all your services to Pak Cricket.

  • POSTED BY AbrarAhmed on | February 28, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    @Naren. I can only unequivocally endorse what Chris_P stated so well. Geoff Lawson did a lot in recognising talent and nurturing the younger fast bowlers. He wore his heart on his sleeve in his passion for Pakistani cricket. His love for the players and Pakistani cricket remained undiminished, even when encountering stupidity and intransigence from the Pakistani cricket administrators, and remains undiminished even after having left office. Personally, I think he was rather shabbily treated.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Great read! Well written Geoff. Thanks for all the great work you did and your obvious affection for the country (God knows we can use it).

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Here we go again. The subcontenint cricket boards imbued with an inferiority complex. The Pak team has been doing great with a Pak coach but they feel that they need a white coach. What about Wasim Hey India Sri Lanka and Pakistan aas long as you believe in the inferiority of your own coaches you will never have the self belief to be dominent. Foriegn coaches are fine . Pak did you consider Ambrose? India how about considering Viv Richards, or Wasim Akram. Srilanka how about Gangulay, you can still have forien coaches who will be very capable, altough they may have more melanin in their skin for their liking

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | February 28, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    dave whatmore will be a good coach , Hope the political problems get sorted out fast , India v/s Pakistan is probably the most exciting rivalry in cricket .. its a shame we don't get to see it more often.. as an Indian i have always somewhat envied Pakistan for its fast bowlers..

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    I have been following n reading cricket articles for over 50 years now besides playing cricket myself for nearly 15/16 years when I was in my youth. In my opinion, its an amazing piece of writing n the writer has such in depth knowledge about Pak cricket n was so unbiased about everything, it really needs to be appreciated. Hats off MAN.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Excellent article by Lawson. Simply love it.

  • POSTED BY vertical on | February 28, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    why would you go to Abbottabad!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Most excellent.. its to Dav as much as it is to PCB and all us cricket fans..

  • POSTED BY AlbertEinstein on | February 28, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Lawson bhai, great piece, you sure seemed to have dug deep into Pakistan cricket and Pakistan while being the coach, shows how passionate you are about the coaching role of Pakistan. Great Letter.

  • POSTED BY LastKnight on | February 28, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Well said Mr Geoff Lawson , Thank you sir . There are bitter facts in the letter , but all in all , I am convinced that writer has a good unbiased insight into Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket.. And welcome to the hot seat mr Dav Whatmore.Wish u a good time .

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    Brilliant Article. Have always respected Geoff Lawson and always felt he had a great respect for our country and cricket. Best of luck to you Geoff in the future :) May Pakistan Cricket prosper, Ameen :)

  • POSTED BY zain.ul.abideen on | February 28, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    loved it! once a pakistani coach, always a pakistani coach!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | February 28, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    @Naren. A few tests? Try 46 tests with 180 wickets, & 666 first class wickets! Not too shabby I would suggest. I would suggest your book would be flat out with having one page in it. On a further note, anyone who listens ot his commentary would know of his love for Pakistan, even that last day at the SCG when Pakistan collapsed spectacularly, he wore a Pakistani tie prior to the day's proceedings in a sign of support for their deeds. A widely respected commentator and knowledgeable cricketer on all facets and a qualified optometrist, his comments always makes enjoyable reading.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Excellent read Geoff. So good to read your insights into Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Sayedgee on | February 28, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    Good one Lawson Jee.... you pretty much covered everything. Note to Dav Jee.... its going to be much tougher than coaching SL or BD. Wishing you all the best! Hopefully you won't have to deal with 5 captains in 2 years and thankfully Butt is no longer.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | February 28, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    I really dont know what to make of this article come small biography from Geoff. It is a bitter sweet account which might just sound little harsh for the pak supporters and fans. Pakistan is tough place and not for faint hearted so is Pak cricket. It dazzles you at one moment and will douse your expectations at other. Pak has some amazing talent in every corner of its streets and mountain of passion for the game. Dave is known to carve diamonds out of raw rocks and he has certainly reached the right destination. A good, stable and competitive Pakistan team is imperious to the world cricket. All the best to Mr.Whatmore.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    lovely....we mis u geof and we are really happy to have dav as a coach

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    These are wonderful pieces of advice. This clearly shows that, Geoff has a very good insight of our country, culture and ethics. Best of Luck to Dev with Pakistan team and Best of Luck to Geoff as well. May you get success whatever you do.

  • POSTED BY Naren on | February 28, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    I just visited this page just to post my comments. I really have no interest in reading what Geoff has to say. Out of any cricketer who has played a few test matches, he will be the last person I would like to hear from. Not sure how Pakistan chose him as a coach. His views are filled with jealousy and trying to catch attention, which is always for the wrong reasons. In my book the least respected cricketer.

  • POSTED BY HawksEyeFocused on | February 28, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Wonderful!!! Thanks Geoff for loving Pakistan and having immense knowledge about our culture,traditions,norms and many more issues related to our dignified society. You gave great and useful pieces of advice to Sir Dave. He is gonna do wonders to Pakistan cricket. We warmly welcome him and would love him to bless our team with his scintillating abilities to guide towards success. Pakistani team needs only right direction and able guidance which we believe only Dave could do.

  • POSTED BY Arachnodouche on | February 28, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Brilliant. Reminded me of Orwell's Burmese Days for some reason.

  • POSTED BY EnamHasan on | February 28, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Lawson, you just had my heart for the affection you showed to my land! Kudos, mate. :)

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 28, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Enjoyed reading it, Geoff Lawson your a great person and have always said positive things about Pakistan cricket, god bless you.

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | February 28, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    Well Geoff you forgot to tell him that try your best to get rid of Misbah in T20 and ODI's, that'll boast pakistan's limited overs cricket greatly.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Excellent article, thoroughly enjoyed!

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | February 28, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Very nice piece, down to earth, witty and good counsel to the successor!

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    wow, ive always had respect for this guy, and i always thought that lawson was treated unfairly by mr butt

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  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    wow, ive always had respect for this guy, and i always thought that lawson was treated unfairly by mr butt

  • POSTED BY SouthPaw on | February 28, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Very nice piece, down to earth, witty and good counsel to the successor!

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Excellent article, thoroughly enjoyed!

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | February 28, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    Well Geoff you forgot to tell him that try your best to get rid of Misbah in T20 and ODI's, that'll boast pakistan's limited overs cricket greatly.

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 28, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Enjoyed reading it, Geoff Lawson your a great person and have always said positive things about Pakistan cricket, god bless you.

  • POSTED BY EnamHasan on | February 28, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Lawson, you just had my heart for the affection you showed to my land! Kudos, mate. :)

  • POSTED BY Arachnodouche on | February 28, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Brilliant. Reminded me of Orwell's Burmese Days for some reason.

  • POSTED BY HawksEyeFocused on | February 28, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Wonderful!!! Thanks Geoff for loving Pakistan and having immense knowledge about our culture,traditions,norms and many more issues related to our dignified society. You gave great and useful pieces of advice to Sir Dave. He is gonna do wonders to Pakistan cricket. We warmly welcome him and would love him to bless our team with his scintillating abilities to guide towards success. Pakistani team needs only right direction and able guidance which we believe only Dave could do.

  • POSTED BY Naren on | February 28, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    I just visited this page just to post my comments. I really have no interest in reading what Geoff has to say. Out of any cricketer who has played a few test matches, he will be the last person I would like to hear from. Not sure how Pakistan chose him as a coach. His views are filled with jealousy and trying to catch attention, which is always for the wrong reasons. In my book the least respected cricketer.

  • POSTED BY on | February 28, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    These are wonderful pieces of advice. This clearly shows that, Geoff has a very good insight of our country, culture and ethics. Best of Luck to Dev with Pakistan team and Best of Luck to Geoff as well. May you get success whatever you do.