Karachi, Oct 23 : A couple of days after new PCB chief Ijaz Butt had described the national team coach Geoff Lawson as "useless", former Pakistan cricketers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have defended him, saying the Australian was not the only one responsible for the team's poor performances.
"How can you blame the coach for Pakistan cricket's ills when your domestic structure is stagnant," Khan said.
Imran Khan said Pakistan needed to improve its domestic cricket structure. "Don't expect miracles from the coach. If a coach could produce results without a proper domestic system then Bangladesh had the best coach (Dav Whatmore) and they should have been world champions," Khan said.
Lawson, a former Australian Test pacer, was appointed coach in July 2007 after the death of Bob Woolmer during the World Cup. He has not commented on Butt's remarks. Butt had said that Lawson's coach would not be renewed once it expires in July.
Miandad said Lawson was not the only one who should be blamed for the inconsistent performances of the team. "It is not just an issue of coaching. Lawson should not be blamed solely. The players should also take responsibility and I think they should be held accountable as well," The News quoted Miandad as saying.
Miandad pointed to a lack of Test cricket as one cause of Pakistan's unsatisfactory performances. Foreign teams have been anxious about travelling to the country because of security concerns. "I think the former board management is also responsible for this as they were least interested and did not care at all for this," he said.
Khan and Miandad are regarded as Pakistan's greatest cricketers and spearheaded the team that won the 1992 World Cup.