Lawson may not return to Pakistan: Reports

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Coach Geoff Lawson may not return to Pakistan to resume his coaching assignment with the national cricket team, local media reported on Saturday.

Updated: May 27, 2008 11:05 IST
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Coach Geoff Lawson may not return to Pakistan to resume his coaching assignment with the national cricket team, local media reported on Saturday.

It said people in the Pakistan cricket set-up were not happy with the performance or commitment of Lawson who was appointed as coach last August after the tragic death of Bob Woolmer during the 2007 World Cup in Jamaica.

The reports said there were rumblings within the cricket circle against Lawson, who is currently on vacation in Australia, but there was no immediate confirmation that he would not be returning to Pakistan.

A top PCB official, however, maintained that Lawson was still the coach.

"No he is very much the coach and has a two year contract with us. It is not correct that he has problems with his job or we want him out," an official of the Board said on condition of anonymity.

He said while it was true that some people were not satisfied with Lawson's performance, the board's policy was clear it would give ample time to the Australian to reach long term targets.

"This is an important year for Pakistan cricket with two major tournaments like the Asia Cup and Champions Trophy and also India coming over for a Test series. So basically it will also be a test for the team and its coach," he said.

Sources said that the Director of the National cricket academy, Mudassar Nazar and his panel of coaches had not given very flattering feedback about Lawson to the board and felt he was not as committed or passionate about his work as Woolmer.

One source said Nazar and even the selectors were not happy with Lawson's attitude nor his commitment level or involvement with coaching programmes.

"Most of the time when he is not with the Pakistan team he is playing golf while stationed at the national academy and already twice since being appointed coach he has gone on long vacations. Neither has there been any visible improvement in the team," the source said.

Lawson had much publicised differences with the national selectors and the Chairman of the board had to intervene to set things right and declare a truce between the two parties.

But sources said that Lawson at presently definitely had the full support of captain, Shoaib Malik and manager Talat Ali.

Malik who is in the Indian Premier League returns home on June 1 while Lawson is due to return on the 30th of this month after which the selectors will sit down to announce the squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh and shortlist players for the Asia Cup being held from June 24.

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