Lawson upset at Champions Trophy postponement

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Geoff Lawson has described as &quot;very disappointing&quot; the decision by some countries not to send their teams to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy.

Updated: September 03, 2008 08:18 IST
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The Australian coach of the Pakistan team Geoff Lawson has described as "very disappointing" the decision by some countries not to send their teams to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy leading to the postponement of the eight-nation competition last week.

Lawson had gone to Australia and New Zealand as a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) task force to convince the officials and players there that it was safe to play the tournament in Pakistan but didn't meet with success.

Lawson told reporters in Lahore that he and the task force did their best but the concerned teams had their own point of view.

"I don't want to go into that, needless to say it is very disappointing to see the tournament postponed and I am hoping now we can get some cricket in South Africa in September," Lawson said.

The Pakistan board is trying to arrange a tri-series or a bilateral one-day rubber in South Africa to make up for the postponement of the Champions Trophy but nothing has been finalised as yet.

Lawson who returned to Pakistan two days ago after another vacation in Australia, said he was waiting for the series to be finalised before deciding on a preparation programme for the players.

"But we will hopefully have some practice games to test out the fitness of all players," he added.

A 30-overs practice game was organised at the Gaddafi stadium yesterday to test the fitness of fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul and opener Salman Butt, who has just recovered from a appendicitis operation.

Shoaib and Gul bowled their overs while Butt scored a hundred.

Lawson said while he was happy to see Shoaib and Gul making good progress in their fitness and match form but they still needed to improve further to deliver at the international level.

"Their hard work and efforts are very good and they are bowling again but they need more practice games so that we can confirm their fitness 100 per cent," he said.

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