Lawson says Akhtar was unprofessional, disruptive

Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson described injury-prone Shoaib Akhtar as unprofessional and a disruptive team influence, according to a report.

updated: June 15, 2009 12:43 IST
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Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson described injury-prone fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar as unprofessional and a disruptive team influence, according to a media report.

"Akhtar was totally unprofessional as a cricketer," the ex-Australian Test bowler was quoted as saying in an interview posted on Sunday on the Pakistan sports Web site

"He trained when he felt like it, didn't contribute to the team," Lawson said. "I couldn't think of a more unprofessional player, which is a pity as he is such a talented player."

Akhtar was ruled out of the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup in England due to a skin infection.

It was fourth major international tournament Ahktar has skipped since he was recalled from the ICC Champions Trophy in India in 2006 after testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone during a PCB internal dope testing.

He also missed the limited-overs World Cup in the West Indies due to fitness problems and was sent home before the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa on disciplinary charges.

Lawson said Akhtar did not utilize even five percent of his natural talent, which was disruptive to the other members of the team.

"It wouldn't matter how good he was, if he wasn't contributing to the team and not a team player he wouldn't even get a place in any Australian club side."

The Pakistan Cricket Board hired Lawson as coach in July 2007 for a two-year term, but he was sacked shortly after Ijaz Butt took over as PCB chairman in October last year.

Lawson said the PCB never explained its reasons for the early cancellation of his contract "which was very unprofessional."

"The government changed and the board changed, and the new (PCB) chairman made some ridiculous statements," he said

Under Lawson's coaching Pakistan lost a test series against South Africa at home, and away against India. It also failed to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup limited-overs tournament at home in July last year.

The team did reach the final of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship under his stewardship.

Lawson blamed "outside interference" and selectors for Pakistan's poor performances.

"There were a couple of selectors who were not up to the job and didn't have any idea what was going on," he was quoted as saying.