Lawson lashes out at "ill-informed" Aussies
Australian cricketers' reputation, already in tatters after their ugly run-ins with the Indian cricket team this summer, will be dented further if they refuse to tour Pakistan and play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League during that period, feels Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson.
Lawson reckoned the Aussies, in all likelihood, would turn their back on the tour that is scheduled for later this month and the former pacer feels that would be disastrous for the world champions' image.
"The PCB seems to be pretty negative about (Australia's tour progressing), only because the correspondence they've been receiving from Cricket Australia has been negative," Lawson told the Herald from Lahore.
"Pretty much everything they've heard from CA has been a hedging of bets in case they decide not to come. The PCB have been pretty disappointed by the comments. Everyone here knows there would be no problem with the tour, yet the more likely scenario seems to be that it won't happen," he added.
Lawson said the IPL coinciding with the tour will way on the players' minds and they might end up giving the impression of being money-driven.
"It would be a terrific coincidence. You would like to think that wouldn't be what it was about, but the amounts of money being talked about are massive. To a certain degree, it's pretty embarrassing to be over here and hearing some of the stuff being said.
"There is no knowledge behind those comments. Australian players don't realise how important the game is to other countries. They carry on like pork chops about nothing, but don't realise the impact it has elsewhere. It's ridiculous. This decision is far bigger than just the fate of a few matches," Lawson fumed.
The former pacer said an Australian pullout would further alienate Pakistan and lead to similar backtracking by other nations.
"It's not just a couple of Tests or TV revenue. It's the precedent it would set. It would give everybody an out from coming here because 'that's what Australia did'. It would be a massive blow to the general public, too. If Australia doesn't come, it could lead to Pakistan being ostracised from world cricket."
Lawson also warned that Aussies risk being further alienated by fans, who have not taken too kindly to their behaviour this summer.
"There is disaffection with the way the Australians behave, or at least the four or so of them who seem to ruin it for everybody. There is great respect for the Australians' ability on the field, but bugger all respect for the way they play the game," he said.