Pakistan Coach Geoff Lawson Dismissed

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has terminated the contract of national coach Geoff Lawson. A PCB spokesman confirmed that Lawson, who had come in for criticism from the board in recent weeks, had been released from his contract and given three months' pay as compensation. "The decision to release Lawson and (chief operating officer Shafqat) Naghmi was taken by the chairman," the spokesman said. "Lawson has been informed about the decision." "I have been told about their decision but there are a few issues to be sorted out," Lawson said. Naghmi will be replaced by Saleem Altaf. Earlier this week, new PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt described Lawson as "useless" and announced that he would not be offered a new contract when his current deal, due to expire in July 2009, ran out. It is not clear what prompted the PCB to take direct action as Butt had said last week: "Lawson is a useless man. But there is no use removing him now and we will allow him to complete his contract which will not be renewed." Butt also added that he favoured having a home-grown player in charge of the time and the announcement brings an end to Lawson's troubled relationship with the board and the media in Pakistan. Lawson, a former Australian international, was appointed coach after the World Cup in 2007 and oversaw Pakistan's run to the ICC World Twenty20 final in South Africa. © Cricket World 2008