Wed, Aug 22, 2007 - Page 19 News List

New Pakistan cricket coach prepares for Twenty20 Cup

BIG SHOES TO FILL The team's new leader will take the place of Bob Woolmer, who died in Jamaica during the World Cup held in the Caribbean earlier this year

AFP , LAHORE, PAKISTAN

New Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson, left, walks with paceman Shoaib Akhtar at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, yesterday. Lawson met his new charges to start final preparations for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup next month in South Africa.

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan's new cricket coach Geoff Lawson met his new charges yesterday to start final preparations for next month's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

The 49-year-old former Australian paceman arrived on Monday night to replace Englishman Bob Woolmer, who died at the team's hotel in Jamaica during the World Cup held in the Caribbean earlier this year.

Lawson, who was accompanied by Pakistan's new trainer David Dwyer, was introduced to the players at the national cricket academy.

"I look forward to meeting the squad," Lawson said on arrival.

He brushed aside news that four Pakistani players -- Inzamam-ul Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Yousuf and Imran Farhat -- had defected to a breakaway Indian league.

"Whatever happens, the players who turn up will count for me and not the ones who go and do something else," Lawson said.

Both Lawson and Dwyer are on two-year contracts.

Pakistan will fly out to Kenya on Aug. 28, where they feature in a four-nation Twenty20 tournament involving the hosts, Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates.

They will then compete in the Twenty20 World Cup to be played from Sept. 11 to Sept. 24.

Pakistan's first match is against Scotland in Durban on Sept. 12 before they take on arch-rivals India at the same venue two days later.

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