Pak coach Lawson at loggerheads with seniors

Despite best of efforts from cricket board chief Nasim Ashraf, senior Pakistani players in the side are not getting along with coach Geoff Lawson.

updated: July 02, 2008 17:40 IST
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The intrigue-ridden Pakistan team looks like a house divided and despite best of efforts from cricket board chief Nasim Ashraf, captain Shoaib Malik remains at loggerheads with the selectors while senior players in the side are not getting along with coach Geoff Lawson.

Ashraf had to interact individually with members of the national team but despite his bid to bring Malik and the selectors together seemed to have gone down the drain.

And to make matters worse, Lawson is not getting along with some of the senior players with reports of exchange of words between some cricketers with the coach.

As expected, Ashraf denied there were any problems in the Pakistan team or between the management and selectors. He also defended his presence at the net session of the team at National bank complex last evening.

"Why not? My job is to motivate and encourage the players. That is why I am here," he said.

"Look, we have a system of selection and which is very clear. The selectors are authorised to select the final eleven at home and the team management does it abroad. In both cases the final authority takes input from the other party," Ashraf said.

"Obviously there are difference of opinion between the selectors and captain and coach which is healthy but you cannot say this means there are serious problems within the team," Ashraf said.

But while the PCB Chairman insisted nothing was wrong, Malik, talking to reporters after the match against India, made it clear that the playing eleven was picked by the selectors, something he was not very happy about.

According to insiders, Shahid Afridi's presence in the side despite his poor form has also added to the tension.

Meanwhile, a miffed Lawson on Saturday complained to Ashraf that some of the senior players were not getting along with him. The PCB chief, however, advised Lawson to handle those issues himself, rather than expecting the board to intervene in every matter.

Ashraf later spoke separately to Younis Khan, Afridi, Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq.

In one related incident, Malik even confronted a senior journalist at the Asia Cup awards ceremony over a story he had given the same day in his newspaper about the differences between the selectors and the captain.