Pakistan shortlist Aussie Geoff Lawson for coach

Saturday, June 16, 2007

SYDNEY: The obsession with cricket coaches from Australia continues unabated, with Geoff Lawson summoned to Pakistan for talks as a possible replacement for the late Bob Woolmer.

He is one of three on Pakistan’s short list with compatriots Dav Whatmore & ICC high performance manager Richard Done, left-arm former fast bowler who was Lawson’s new ball partner for NSW Colts in 1977.

Former NSW and New Zealand coach Steve Rixon was also sounded out several weeks ago but rejected the approach due to safety concerns.

However, the position has become more palatable in recent days when police investigators reversed a finding of murder surrounding the death of Woolmer during the World Cup at Kingston, Jamaica.

The latest revelations on Pakistan’s coaching position come as another Australian, NSW coach and former batsman Trevor Bayliss, was appointed coach of Sri Lanka overnight.

He is the fifth Australian to take charge of Sri Lanka in little more than a decade behind Whatmore, Bruce Yardley, John Dyson and Tom Moody.

Should an Australian be appointed to the Pakistan job only two of the 10 Test playing countries, England and South Africa, will not have had an Australian coach in the past decade.

Pakistan requested Lawson make himself available soon and he was stranded in Sydney on Friday after being unable to obtain a visa from the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra. He was hoping to fly out on Saturday
“once paper work has been done”.

“It’s a significant challenge,”
Lawson said of coaching Pakistan.
“They’re an underachieving team with plenty of talent. I’m flattered I’ve even been invited I suppose. I certainly haven’t been chasing it. At short notice they asked me to come to Islamabad for an interview.”

Lawson, 49, took 180 wickets in 46 Tests between 1980-1989 before finishing his career as NSW captain and later became state coach. He is a long standing fast bowling coach with NSW and recently held the position of advising junior coaches.

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?