PCB, cricket selectors to discuss Lawson issue

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Karachi, Aug.17 : Pakistan's cricket selection committee is reportedly planning to file an official complaint against national team coach Geoff Lawson.

Sources told 'The News' that the selectors will be meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Nasim Ashraf after he returns from the United States next week to officially convey their charge-sheet against Lawson.

The former Australian Test pacer, who is currently on a mission Down Under to save next month's ICC Champions Trophy, is reported to have had a spat with the selectors in Lahore over team formation for the eight-nation tournament.

Sources said that at the meeting Lawson tried to 'dictate' to the national selection committee.

"He (Lawson) came to the meeting with a list of players he thought should play for Pakistan in the Champions Trophy," said an eye witness, who requested anonymity.

"When he was told by the selectors that they would review his list and would also consult with the PCB before naming the national team, Lawson lost his cool.

He told the selectors: 'What! Now you will discuss my team?' in an angry tone and was immediately told to behave," added the eye witness.

At that particular point, Lawson left the room in a huff. But he returned again only to walk out a few minutes later.

Sources said that during the time he was present at the meeting, Lawson was agitated. In contrast, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik kept his views to himself.

It was supposed to be routine meeting between the national selection committee and the team coach and captain and was aimed at taking their "input" on the combination for next month's ICC Champions Trophy.

While Lawson wanted to have his way, the selectors told him in clear words that he was trying to trespass in their territory.

"Lawson was told by the selectors that he can only give his input which would be considered by the selectors. They also made it clear that the selection committee had the final say over the team combination. The coach wasn't very happy with that argument."

It was not the first time that the selectors and Lawson, who took over as Pakistan coach last summer, clashed over team selection.

They've been having episodes of what a senior PCB official terms as "difference of opinion" over the team combination since before the tour of India last year.

But according to the sources the latest spat was by far the worst and could have senior repercussions for Lawson, who is already under the scanner following Pakistan's poor outing in the Asia Cup on home soil earlier this summer.

Sources close to Lawson claim that the former Australian pacer is frustrated over not having much of a say in team selection and wants more powers for him and skipper Shoaib Malik. The captain also shares that feeling.

They pointed out that Lawson is of the view that unless the team management had more say in selection matters, it would be difficult for Pakistan to produce the desired results.

The Champions Trophy is to be played across Pakistan from September 12 to 28, but is still under a cloud because of security fears.

Ashraf will meet with Lawson after he arrives in Pakistan on August 27.

ANI

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