Former captains Miandad and Alam unhappy with decision July 17, 2007

Shoaib Malik welcomes Lawson's appointment

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captains Javed Miandad and Intikhab Alam feel Dav Whatmore would have been a better choice than Geoff Lawson © AFP

Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, has said that the Pakistan Cricket Board had made the right decision in appointing Geoff Lawson as coach.

"It is a positive decision and will help the players," Malik was quoted in the newspaper Dawn. "As for Lawson's expertise, I feel he can do a good job with both bowlers and the batsmen because the batsmen do not need basic level coaching and just need to hone their skills."

Talat Ali, the Pakistan team manager, also commended the decision and said that Lawson's experience could benefit the team.

Meanwhile, Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain, denounced the appointment. "The move to hire foreigners when you have better people here gives a wrong message to the youngsters that our elders are nothing and foreigners will be preferred for key posts over experts such as Hanif Mohammad, Intikhab Alam and many others," Miandad told Dawn.

Miandad, who has in the past spoken against the need for foreign coaches, also felt that the board had erred in their choice of a foreigner as coach. "Also, I believe the decision has not been taken on merit since Dav Whatmore has better international experience and has a definite edge since he has the experience of coaching Asian teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."

Miandad said that many of Pakistan's successes in the past had come under Pakistani coaches, while little had been achieved under foreign coaches.

Lawson, however, said that he would like Miandad to be a member of his team. "I'd like to get Javed on board to be part of the coaching crew, to be part of the system and help out, because he was an outstanding player and a tough bloke as well," he told the Australian. "We could do with a few of those characteristics among the guys at the moment."

Intikhab Alam, a former captain and more importantly the manager-cum-coach of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan side, aired similar views as Miandad. Speaking to Dawn, Alam said, "Whatmore had helped Sri Lanka to win World Cup in 1996 and he also showed fine progress with the Bangladesh team." Talking about Lawson's appointment to The News, Alam said, "I have nothing against him but he should be prepared for a lot of criticism and a hard time."