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Pakistan coach Lawson dismissed

Geoff Lawson
Lawson was sacked three days after being told he was safe until April 2009

Geoff Lawson has been sacked as coach of Pakistan with immediate effect.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman said the Australian had been released from his contract and given three months' pay as compensation.

The move comes just three days after new PCB chief Ijaz Butt said financial reasons meant Lawson would be retained until his contract ended in April 2009.

Lawson, 50, signed a two-year deal last July to succeed Bob Woolmer, who died during the 2007 World Cup.

Under Lawson, whose appointment was contentious, Pakistan lost Test series to South Africa and India and failed to reach July's Asia Cup final.

Earlier this week PCB chairman Butt said that Lawson, who reportedly earned more than 18,000 a month, would not have his contract renewed in April 2009 because Pakistan had "no utility" for him.

I didn't say he was useless but I don't think he is much use to us

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt
On Tuesday Butt had insisted: "He will stay until his contract finishes and he will still be with the team as a coach. We are not 'getting rid' of him but we are not happy with his overall performance.

"We had an assessment and everybody feels we need to get a new coach.

"We will invite people from various countries and see who is the most appropriate person. We are not in a hurry but we would definitely like a new coach after (Lawson's) current tenure ends."

Butt denied reports he described Lawson as useless but admitted: "I don't think he is much use to us."

Butt added that Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik's performance would be reviewed in December.

Some former Pakistan players had demanded the former Australia fast bowler's removal, notably ex-Test opener Mohsin Khan.

"Lawson has no calibre to coach at the top level," said Mohsin.

"He was a second string bowler in his playing days when fiery pacemen Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson ruled the world. Even Terry Alderman was ahead of him."

However, two key figures in Pakistani cricket, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad, said Lawson was not the only one responsible for the team's problems.

Former captain and coach Miandad said the players and management should take some of the blame, explaining: "Lawson should not be blamed solely. It is not just an issue of coaching. The players should be held accountable as well."

606: DEBATE
David O, BBC Sport
Imran, who captained the side to victory in the 1992 World Cup, said: "How can you blame the coach for Pakistan cricket's ills when your domestic structure is stagnant? Don't expect miracles.

"If a coach could produce results without a proper domestic system then Bangladesh should have been world champions, as they had the best coach, Dav Whatmore."

Lawson played 46 Tests from 1980-89, taking 180 wickets at an average of 30.56.

Pakistan must now find a new coach before the home Test series against India in January and February next year.

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see also
Legends attack Lawson appointment
16 Jul 07 |  Pakistan
Lawson faces steep learning curve
16 Jul 07 |  Pakistan
Pakistan pick Lawson as new coach
16 Jul 07 |  Pakistan
Pakistan look for coach consensus
29 Jun 07 |  Pakistan


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