New coach greeted by loss of four players August 21, 2007

Lawson wants 'killer's instinct' in Pakistan



Losing four players to the ICL, including Mohammad Yousuf, could not have been the start Geoff Lawson was looking for © AFP

Geoff Lawson, Pakistan's new coach, said he would have to instill a "killer's instinct" in his new team if it was to reach the top in world cricket.

Lawson was speaking after arriving in the country on Monday night to take up his post and prepare for the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa next month. "Any side that wants to be world's best needs aggression, the killer's instinct and must play to its strength and that's what I would be looking at," Lawson told a press conference.

Lawson said he was excited after having his first interaction with the players on Tuesday morning and then overseeing a training session in the evening. "Let me say I am thrilled and honoured to be here and meeting with the players," he said. "The enthusiasm among the players is outstanding and they are eager to do well."

Pakistan started a week-long training session before leaving for Kenya, where they feature in a tune-up Twenty20 event involving the hosts, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan face Scotland in their first World Championship match at Durban on September 12 before taking on India at the same venue two days later.

Lawson said four Pakistani players - the former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq - joining the Indian Cricket League would not have a direct affect on the rest of the squad. But he still hoped Yousuf would have a change of mind.

"I feel there would be no direct reflection of the players joining the league because players make their decisions but I would certainly hope Yousuf has a change of mind," he said. "Yousuf is a fine player and he is not only worth it for his runs but also for his influence on the younger players." Yousuf amassed 1788 Test runs in 2006, a world record for a calendar year.

Lawson ruled out players' attitude, especially that of the mercurial Shoaib Akhtar, upsetting his planning. "Coaches have problems with the attitude of the players and this goes back to 700BC and it's nothing new," Lawson, who took 180 wickets in 46 Tests for Australia, said. "I don't see Akhtar as a problem. I am a fast bowler first so I will have to deal with that."

Lawson shrugged off comparisons with his former team-mate Greg Chappell, who had a tough time as the India coach. "I don't agree Greg Chappell had a bitter experience; he spoke positively about the Indian players and the way India have played in England shows he did a good job."

With Lawson from Australia was Pakistan's new trainer David Dwyer. "Dwyer just finished work with the rugby team in Australia and it would be good to have the rugby attitude and with it comes the killer's instinct."

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