PCB chairman backs captain and coach

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf has said that both captain Shoaib Malik and coach Geoff Lawson will retain their jobs despite the team failing to reach the finals of the Asia Cup.

"Let me make it clear once again that Shoaib Malik and Geoff Lawson were both appointed for two-year terms and they will at least continue till then," he said. Ashraf had criticised the team last month for a 140-run loss to India in the league phase of the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh.

However, on Friday, he said Pakistan were a young team that was improving. "It will take time to groom the players and we are doing our best in that," he said. "Give me the same players who were part of the team in the 90s such as Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail and others and see the result. We don't have the same talent that we had in the 80s and 90s and we have to accept that as a reality."

Ashraf said he was happy with players' attitude and their commitment. "I know personally the players are very committed. I can tell you that after we lost to Sri Lanka I went to the Pakistan dressing room and saw Shahid Afridi crying and wanting to be dropped from the team because he had not performed well. I saw Malik on a stretcher on drips and with cold packs on his body yet he went out and played in that match.

"I feel sorry when some people in such circumstances question the commitment of some players. I have told them to give 100% and even if they lose that is alright but they must give 100% effort."