No threat to Malik, Lawson's job: PCB

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson and captain Shoaib Malik seemed to have saved their job with the PCB ruling out wielding the axe.

Updated: July 09, 2008 17:09 IST
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Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson and captain Shoaib Malik seemed to have saved their job with the Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday ruling out wielding the axe despite the team's failure to reach the Asia Cup final.

PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf dismissed talk about changing the captain or coach after the poor performance in the Asia Cup and said Pakistan was a young team and people needed to be patient with it.

"We don't have the same talent that we had in the 80s and 90s and we have to accept that as a reality. We cannot rush things and results. But I can tell you this the present teams is already showing more consistency and is committed," he said.

Though Malik and Lawson would continue their job, Ashraf made it clear that their performances would be closely monitored.

Ashraf said he was happy with players' attitude and nobody should question 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 player. I have told them to give 100 percent and even if they lose that is alright but they must give 100 percent effort," he said.

Ashraf said he could understand the disappointment among the fans for not qualifying for the Asia Cup final but said this was part of the game.

"We need to support our players and team," he said.

Ashraf also apologised for the unpleasant row between Lawson and the local media during the tournament.

"I apologise for what happened and I hope the chapter is closed because Lawson has also apologised. But I can understand any person feeling disappointed, upset and angry at losing a match and maybe he lost his cool. But the chapter must be closed now and the excellent relations between the media and the board and team must continue," he said.

Asked about the Lahore high court decision to suspend the ban on Shoaib Akhtar till the writ petition is finally decided, Ashraf said he could only comment on it after going through the final order of the court.

"The case is yet not decided and is sub-judice but we will respect the court's decision and if Shoaib is available to play, it is for the selectors to decide what to do," he said.

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