Pakistan cricket is never short of controversy, with dirty linen customarily washed in public. The latest victim is Geoff Lawson, the coach, who was sacked with immediate effect on Friday, three months before his contract expired. This comes in the wake of several top functionaries of the Pakistan Cricket Board being replaced after Ijaz Butt took over as chairman.
A former Australia fast bowler, Lawson was appointed on a two-year contract by Nasim Ashraf, Butt's predecessor, in 2007. From the moment he took the job, Lawson was in the news, often for the wrong reasons. His confrontational attitude with the local media made him unpopular and the butt of some pointed criticism.
Admittedly, Pakistan's record since he took over has been ordinary with a Test series loss at home against South Africa and away against India only being marginally offset by limited success in shorter versions of the game.
Soon after Butt took over, he told a press conference that the PCB had "no utility" for Lawson and it would not be renewing his contract in 2009, a remarkably strong statement from a board president on his own team's coach. Lawson replied by saying he had not heard from the new president and that he intended to serve out his contract. Butt then softened his stance, saying he had nothing personal against Lawson and that the PCB would give the coach whatever support was needed.
Just days after, Lawson was sacked with the PCB deciding to remove him and pay the three months' wages that were due to the fast bowler.