Lawson confirms Pakistan appointment
Geoff Lawson, the former Australia bowler, has confirmed he will succeed Bob Woolmer as Pakistan's coach. Lawson told Sydney radio 2KY on Monday morning the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had called him on Sunday to tell him he had beaten Dav Whatmore and Richard Done for the post. The PCB's official announcement is expected to be made later today.
"It's such a talented squad they have over there. When you look at the class of players they have, you just have to be excited about being involved with them," said Lawson after hearing of his appointment.
Whatmore was the early favourite on the three-man shortlist, but it is understood a number of players, as well as key members of team management, were more keen on Lawson and passed on their preference to the board. Whatmore's cause was not helped by the former Sri Lanka captain, Arjuna Ranataunga, who was alleged to have advised Pakistan against Whatmore during a chance meeting with a top PCB official in Glasgow.
Pakistan have had 11 different coaches in the past 10 years, with three stints each for former great Javed Miandad and Richard Pybus, Pakistan's first foreign coach, with Woolmer taking over from from Miandad in June 2004.
Lawson said he expected to head over to Lahore within a month to prepare for the Twenty20 World Championship. When asked of what changes he is hoping to bring to the team, he said: "Well, there'll probably be quite a few. I'm hoping to take a few more Australian personnel with me as well."
Lawson played 46 Tests for Australia and, though he has no international coaching experience, he has been in charge of New South Wales. The PCB's ad-hoc committee is in Karachi for a two-day meeting that started on Sunday and it is also expected to announce new central contracts for the players.