Lawson wants Yousuf, Afridi ouster from ODI team
KARACHI: M Yousuf may be the prolific run-getter for Pakistan in both forms of cricket but coach Geoff Lawson has told the Board that he does not want the senior batsman in the one-day squad because of his poor fielding, reports PTI.
In a recent meeting of PCB Governing Body, Lawson faced some hard questions from some of the members but he stuck to his guns about the future utility of Yousuf and Shahid Afridi. "Lawson said Yousuf should not be in the ODI squad because of his poor fielding while Afridi, despite playing some 300 ODIs, still gets out in the same irresponsible manner," a PCB source said about the meeting in Lahore.
"He (Lawson) basically repeated what he has written in his report on the home series against Zimbabwe claiming Yousuf should not be playing one-day cricket," the source added. Yousuf has scored 8873 ODI runs from 256 matches at an average of 43.07 but Lawson was unimpressed, saying his below par fitness level could be acceptable for Tests but would not pass muster for limited overs cricket.
Lawson had also told the members that there was a feeling within the team that Afridi had a habit of leaking information to the media and was not a consistent performer. "Lawson faced some criticism over his remarks about Afridi but he defended himself and was all praise for captain Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq," the source said.
Misbah got special praise of the coach for working very hard on his fielding despite his age while Malik was improving as a captain and gaining support and respect of other players. The coach had emphasised that Pakistani cricketers will have to greatly lift their fitness levels if they want to consistently win matches.