Coach Lawson apologises for outburst

July 01, 2008

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KARACHI, June 30: Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has tendered a written apology over his outburst at Sunday night’s post-match press conference which led to a media boycott at the National Stadium.

“I regret the incident which took place at the media conference after the match on 29th June and would like to apologize unconditionally to all the media persons present. I look forward to cordial and reciprocal working relationship in the future,” said the statement from the Aussie coach.

Earlier, a media release issued by PCB quoting Lawson said here on Monday: “I would like to clarify that the incident that took place at the press conference after the Pakistan and Sri Lanka match is most unfortunate.”

“I appreciate that the media has a job on hand to do and at the end of the day our collective efforts should be focussed on getting good performances from the team,” the 50-year-old Australian, who took up his assignment with the Pakistan team last August, concluded.

Lawson caused a commotion on Sunday night when he walked out of the post-match media conference shortly after Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka by 64 runs in the Asia Cup match.

Lawson left the conference hall in anger after the media contingent comprising both local and foreign reporters, staged a boycott at the Pakistan coach’s rude gesture.

“A couple of rules before we start [this briefing]; don’t make statements, ask questions. If someone asks the question twice I won’t answer it, and make your question sensible otherwise I won’t answer it, okay,” Lawson said in an angry tone.

Agitated by those words, a reporter asked the coach as to why he was dictating terms to them in an apparent attempt to curb the press freedom. To that Lawson told him: “Improve your English.”

The former Australian fast bowler’s remark took everyone by surprise, leading to a near altercation between the coach and the media personnel. The Australian then turned to another reporter and told in his face: “If you are rude to me then I will have to go.”

This action prompted the media to boycott the conference in unison as Lawson stormed out of the centre without uttering a word, leaving many questions unanswered after Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik skipped the media conference.

Malik was conspicuous by his absence at the post-game official ceremony, leaving Pakistan vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq to face the music in front of television cameras.

Malik, too, had expressed his reservations over the selection matters despite claiming publicly that the team was being picked with their consent.

“The selectors pick the playing XI in home matches after we give out in-put,” the skipper has been repeatedly saying in the past week.

With Pakistan in danger of missing Sunday’s final, the position of Malik and that of Lawson are already under the scanner, according to top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials. In the coming days, a few heads are bound to be rolled.