x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pakistan legends defend under-fire Lawson

Former Pakistan cricketers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad defend the under-fire coach Geoff Lawson.

KARACHI // The former Pakistan cricketers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have defended the under-fire national coach Geoff Lawson. The pair suggest that the Australian was not the only one responsible for the team's poor performances. The New Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ejaz Butt described Lawson as "useless" on Monday and said that his contract would not be renewed when it runs out in July next year.

"How can you blame the coach for Pakistan cricket's ills when your domestic structure is stagnant," Khan said. Lawson, a former Australian Test regular, was appointed in July 2007 after the death of Bob Woolmer during the World Cup. He has not commented on Butt's remarks. Miandad said Lawson was not the only one who should be blamed for the inconsistent performances of the team. "It is not just an issue of coaching. Lawson should not be blamed solely. The players should also take responsibility and I think they should be held accountable as well," said Miandad, who had three spells as national coach.

Khan believes that Pakistan needs to improve its domestic cricket structure. "Don't expect miracles from the coach. If a coach could produce results without a proper domestic system then Bangladesh had the best coach (Dav Whatmore) and they should have been world champions," Khan said. Khan and Miandad are regarded as two of Pakistan's greatest cricketers and spearheaded the team that won the 1992 World Cup.

Miandad pointed to a lack of Test cricket as one of the causes of Pakistan's unsatisfactory results. Foreign teams have been anxious about travelling to the country because of security concerns. "I think the former board management is also responsible for this as they were least interested and did not care at all for this," he added. *Reuters