Lahore, Oct 27 : The unceremonious removal of erstwhile Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson, of Australia, has drawn flak from within the country's cricketing world, even as former cricketers have said that the decision had invited international ire towards Pakistan and that, henceforth, no foreign coach would show interest in accepting coaching assignment here.
A former Test cricketer said the foreign teams were reluctant to visit Pakistan and the hasty decision had sent "wrong signals in the cricket world". He said that firstly Dav Whatmore should have been appointed as the coach, but once Lawson was chosen he should have been allowed to complete his full two-year-term.
"We are very short-sighted. Whatmore was more deserving. But after hiring Lawson the PCB should have let the Australian complete his contract. Now no foreign coach will be willing to come to Pakistan. This is very unfortunate," the Daily Times quoted the unidentified ex-Pakistani cricketer as saying.
He alleged that the new management under PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt and Salim Altaf was settling scores with former chairman Nasim Asharf. "Both Ijaz and Salim were dead against Nasim but were unable to do anything because Nasim had support of President Pervez Musharraf." He said Intikhab was appointed because of his close affiliation with the chairman. "Both were members of the PCB governing board during the tenure of Nasim," he added.
Another foemer Pakistani cricketer also expressed similar views. "The decision has given a bad name to Pakistan cricket. The PCB should have respected the contract with Lawson. There were seven, eight months left of his contract. He should have been allowed to complete his tenure," he said.
Lawson, released with three months compensation, was appointed coach of the national senior team for two years in July 2007 after Pakistan, led by Inzamamul Haq, suffered a first-round defeat in the World Cup in the West Indies in March.
The surprised sacking of Lawson came just three days after new PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said that 'useless' Lawson's contract would not be renewed next year as the Pakistan team was gaining nothing from him.
Since 1998, Pakistan have had nine different coaches, some of whom, like Javed Miandad and Richard Pybus have been in the position more than once.