Lawson gives nod for Pak tour, CA to assess security after elections

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Karachi, Jan 10 (UNI) Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson said Cricket Australia (CA) will assess the security in Pakistan after next month's elections and will then decide on their tour scheduled in March.

Lawson while speaking to mediapersons at the National stadium in Karachi said, ''The Australians want to see what state the nation is after the elections. They do their own thorough investigation and they make careful judgments because they know the importance of the series and their relationship. I sincerely hope that it takes place but it's a long way off.'' The coach said he felt secure in the country despite the bomb blast in Lahore, where he is based, on Thursday in which 20 people were reportedly killed.

''I don't know much about the blast because I am here in Karachi. I do feel safe in Pakistan and have expressed the same to some of the Australian players and informally to Cricket Australia, but they make their own decisions,'' Lawson said.

Lawson further added that the Australian side not unbeatable and that was proved by the way Team India handled them in the controversial second Test at Sydney.

''We have two months to plan specifically for the Australian team and hope to address all the shortcomings we had in the series against India,'' Lawson said.

Pakistan lost their home series against South Africa in October and losses both the ODI series and the Test series against arch-rivals India. But Lawson believes that the series against India was closer than the results showed in the end.

''It was a close series in India. We didn't have a lot of luck as we couldn't put scores on the board in the first Test and then suffered injuries and health problems in the last two Tests,'' he said.

He also said Pakistan team still banks upon Shoaib Akhtar heavily and the speedster's career is far from over. Akhtar took six wickets in Pakistan's defeat in the first Test before playing with a chest infection in the drawn second Test at Kolkata. He also hurt his back in the final Test at Bangalore.

''To be honest when he was fit and bowled well he was our best bowler and he was the one who looked like getting wickets.

''Akhtar fell ill and then had back trouble. I would not like to think he has played his last Test and he can be a vital player if he is fit and bowls well against Australia. I think he concentrated hard in India and his attitude was terrific,'' the Australian added.

Lawson was hopeful that if Pakistan team will play to its optimum potential it will secure a 5-0 win against Zimbabwe who will arrive on January 12.

''We have to make sure that everyone is fit and healthy and at the top of their game. We have couple of months to do that, and we have to plan very specifically,'' he said UNI XC RAR RKM ND2057

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