Pakistan news October 12, 2008

Lawson eager to complete term with Pakistan

Cricinfo staff

Geoff Lawson: "I am enjoying my job and am looking forward to completing my two-year term" © AFP

Geoff Lawson, the Pakistan coach, has said he has no plans of stepping down from his post before his two-year term finishes next year. Lawson was responding to reports from Pakistan that the newly-appointed PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt, was unhappy with his performance.

"Why should I quit as coach?" Lawson said in King City during the Canada four-nation Twenty20 tournament. "I am enjoying my job and am looking forward to completing my two-year term.

"I am a professional coach and I have nothing to do with the changes in the board. I will brief the chairman on what I have done when the time comes."

Butt said Lawson had to share the blame for Pakistan's inconsistent performances. "There is a need of improvement in the performance of the Pakistan team and Lawson has so far not succeeded," Butt was quoted as saying in the Urdu language section of the BBC website. "The previous (PCB) management could better tell what they expected from Lawson, but in my opinion he has not shown any notable performances."

Former Pakistan players felt a homegrown coach would have helped the team better. Aamer Sohail, the former captain, felt a communication barrier was hindering Lawson, an Australian.

"When you can't put your point across what's the point?" Sohail told Associated Press. "I personally believe that you have to give your own former players an opportunity to coach the national team."

Zaheer Abbas felt the PCB would do better to hire foreign coaches to help youngsters first before fast-tracking them to take charge of the senior team.

Lawson took over last August before the ICC World Twenty and has had mixed results as a coach. After the highs of reaching the final of the World Twenty20, Pakistan went on to lose Test and ODI series to South Africa and India. Pakistan beat India in the final of the Kitply Cup in Dhaka earlier this year but failed to make the finals of the Asia Cup in front of their home crowd.

In between, Lawson also had run-ins on several occasions with the selection committee and with the media as well. During the Asia Cup, journalists stormed out of a heated a press conference after he asked a senior journalist to "improve his English" and told another reporter "if you are rude I'll have to leave."