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New Pakistan cricket coach Lawson wants 'killer's instinct'

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 20:22 [IST]
 
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Pakistan's new cricket coach Geoff Lawson Tuesday said he will have to instil a "killer's instinct" in his new team if it is to reach the top in world cricket.

The 49-year-old former Australian paceman was speaking after arriving in the country on Monday night to take up his post and prepare for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.

"Any side that wants to be world's best needs aggression, the killer's instinct and must play to its strength and that's what I would be looking at," Lawson told a press conference.

With him from Australia is Pakistan's new trainer David Dwyer who is famous for his stints in rugby.

"Dwyer just finished work with the rugby team in Australia and it would be good to have the rugby attitude and with it comes the killer's instinct," said Lawson who is on a two-year contract with Pakistan.

Lawson said he was excited after having his first interaction with the players on Tuesday morning and then overseeing a training session in the evening.

"Let me say I am thrilled and honoured to be here and meeting with the players. The enthusiasm among the players is outstanding and they are eager to do well," said Lawson, whose first assignment will be next month's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Pakistan started a week long training session before leaving for Kenya where they feature in a tune-up Twenty20 event involving the hosts, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan face Scotland in their first Twenty20 World Cup match at Durban on September 12 before taking on arch-rivals India at the same venue two days later.

Lawson said four Pakistani players -- former captain Inzamam-ul Haq, senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf, opener Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq -- joining the breakaway India league on Monday will not have a direct affect on the rest of the squad.

But he still hoped Yousuf will have a change of mind.

"I feel there would be no direct reflection of the players joining the league because players make their decisions but I would certainly hope Yousuf has a change of mind.

"Yousuf is a fine player and he is not only worth it for his runs but also for his influence on the younger players," said Lawson of Yousuf who amassed 1788 runs in 2006 -- a world record for most runs in a calendar year.

Pakistan's new coach ruled out players' attitude, especially that of the mercurial paceman Shoaib Akhtar, upsetting his planning.

"Coaches have problems with the attitude of the players and this goes back to 700BC and it's nothing new. I don't see Akhtar as a problem. I am a fast bowler first so I will have to deal with that," said Lawson who took 180 wickets in 46 Tests for Australia.

Lawson shrugged off comparisons with former team-mate Greg Chappell who had a bitter experience as Indian coach.

"I don't agree Greg Chappell had a bitter experience, he spoke positively about the Indian players and the way India have played in England shows he did a good job."

Lawson replaces former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer who died at the team's hotel in Jamaica during the World Cup held in the Caribbean earlier this year.

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