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Malik keeps captaincy, Lawson faces questions

Shoaib Malik will retain the Pakistan team's captaincy despite the team's away defeat to India, but coach Geoff Lawson faces some tough questions from the Board.

cricket Updated: Dec 14, 2007 18:11 IST

Shoaib Malik is to retain the Pakistan captaincy until the end of next year despite the series defeat against India, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf said on Thursday.

"We will stick to our decision to name him as captain for the year (2008). We will give him our full backing and we feel he can mature into a good captain in time," Ashraf told reporters.

The 25-year-old Malik's captaincy and own form have come under the microscope after Pakistan's one-day and test series defeats at home to South Africa and then the disappointing showing in India.

Malik led Pakistan in the one-day series in India, which the hosts won 3-2, and the first test in New Delhi which India won by six wickets before going on to complete a 1-0 series triumph.

Vice-captain Younis Khan was the captain for the last two tests as Malik was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Ashraf said the board had made Malik the captain this year keeping in mind the future of Pakistan cricket.

"He is young and he will learn from his mistakes. Overall the team's performance in India lacked focus," he said.

Ashraf said Pakistan's Australian coach, Geoff Lawson, had been asked to give a detailed report on Pakistan's first test series loss in India since the 1979-80 rubber.

"The team appeared to lack in mental toughness at times and professionalism. The coach is responsible for this and we will talk to him," Ashraf said.