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Thread: "Umar Gul Needs Some Time away from Cricket" : Geoff Lawson

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    "Umar Gul Needs Some Time away from Cricket" : Geoff Lawson

    Former Australian pace bowler Geoff Lawson was coach of the Pakistan team between July 2007 and October 2008 before he was sacked when the government changed and Ijaz Butt took over the Chairmanship of the Pakistan Cricket Board. He was also head coach of Australian state side New South Wales in the two years up to his appointment as Pakistan coach and also coached the Kochi Tuskers at the IPL.

    Lawson who described his stint as Pakistan coach as enjoyable spoke to PakPassion about the recently-concluded Test series against South Africa particularly about the lack of preparation ahead of the series, the subsequent criticism of coach Dav Whatmore from some former players, Umar Gul's form in South Africa and the performance of the young Pakistani fast bowlers in the series.


    PakPassion.net: A three-nil defeat for Pakistan in the Test series against South Africa. Your thoughts on the Pakistani performance and how Dav Whatmore will have reacted to the series defeat?

    Geoff Lawson: First of all, South Africa are a very powerful side; they’ve destroyed a lot of teams recently, they smashed New Zealand and were too good for Australia. They are the number one Test side in the world and have an outstanding seam bowling attack and that is what won them the series against Pakistan.

    At times Pakistan showed some fight, they hung in there and showed some promise but South Africa was just too strong in the end. The last Test was probably the most disappointing for Pakistan as they had a chance to bowl out South Africa for much less than the 400 they eventually scored, as the pitch was doing plenty, but the bowlers couldn’t find the consistency when bowling at the South African lower order.

    Dav will be disappointed, all coaches obviously are when their team is beaten, but he’s got plenty to work with, particularly the fabulous fast bowlers and a couple of young batsmen doing the business in South Africa. So yes the coach will be disappointed but there were enough things from the Pakistanis for Dav to be enthusiastic about and to look ahead to the next series.


    PakPassion.net: There has been some criticism of Pakistan’s preparations ahead of the Test series in South Africa. Were you surprised with Pakistan’s lack of warm-up games, particularly given they had not played any Test cricket for more than six months?

    Geoff Lawson: Yes I was surprised. The international calendar is extremely busy these days. A lot of teams seem to go into series without too much preparation. The Australians did the right thing in sending some players to India ahead of the main touring party but even then they never got to grips with the spinning track in the opening Test.

    With Pakistan not having played Test cricket for so long, they should have arranged three warm-up games in South Africa before the first Test match. I’m not quite sure of the scheduling issues or what the PCB had in mind but purely from a cricketing perspective, you would need three warm-up games preferably of two to four days in length to allow everyone to settle in and get the batsmen used to the pitches and the bowlers to bowl the right lengths. What happened though was that the bowlers, due to the lack of warm up matches, bowled too short and most of the batsmen never adjusted to the conditions.


    PakPassion.net: You can speak from first hand experience regarding the pressures of being coach of the Pakistan cricket team. Do you think Dav will be feeling the pressure after the whitewash in South Africa?

    Geoff Lawson: Dav’s a very experienced international coach, he’s had pressure whilst working previously in Bangladesh, within the Indian system and I’m sure he’ll be OK. Like any coach he’ll be disappointed that Pakistan didn’t win and above all they didn’t play to their potential but I don’t think he’ll be allowing the “outside influences” affect what he does. I’m sure Dav will be looking ahead rather than backwards.

    Whatever pressure there is on Dav will be coming from within Dav himself. He’ll want to do a better job and make Pakistan a better side. I don’t think he’ll be taking too much notice of the noises made towards him from outside of the Pakistan Cricket Board.


    PakPassion.net: Dav Whatmore has been Head Coach now for nearly a year and has at least another year left on his contract. Surely he should be given the opportunity to at least see out his two-year contract?

    Geoff Lawson: I was in a similar situation where I wasn’t given the opportunity to complete my two-year stint as coach of Pakistan, even though we were doing pretty well and had done a lot of good things. 12 months is a long time in international cricket and Dav’s got some really impressive talent to work with so I think it’s only fair that he’s given the chance to at least see his two-year contract out.

    It takes time to develop players and to get used to the system, particularly when you are not from Pakistan. It takes a little while to be successful and it doesn’t happen overnight. Pakistan has also played some pretty tough series over the last 12 months and I’m sure it would be the right thing to do from a Pakistani cricketing perspective to let Dav at least see out his two-year contract.


    PakPassion.net: What can the Pakistani cricketing establishment and the players themselves do to ensure they are better prepared to play Test cricket in places such as South Africa and Australia in future?

    Geoff Lawson: It’s not all that easy. Conditions in your home country are what they are. All you can do is to get to the away venue as soon as you can and ensure that you practice as much as you can. Home advantage is about spinning tracks in India and quicker bouncier pitches in South Africa and Australia.

    South Africa are playing brilliantly and to their strengths at the moment and that’s why they are so good at home. Outstanding sides like South Africa also win abroad as they did in England and Australia. There’s no easy solution though for teams such as Pakistan as most teams are bouncing from one series to another and there is very little opportunity to play against the county or provincial sides in warm-up matches. Also you are going from one format to another in such a short space of time so it makes it very difficult for the players to adapt quickly.


    PakPassion.net: Umar Gul seemed to be out of sorts during the Test series. Did you spot any technical issues with his bowling or is it a case of him just being out form?

    Geoff Lawson: I expected Gul to do very well in South Africa. He’s been terrific for a long time now and it’s not as if he’s been out of form lately. However I get the feeling he’s burned out; there’s been a lot of pressure on him as the experienced bowler, as the leader of the pace attack. As a result he’s looking jaded and in need of some time away from cricket as everybody does from time to time. There haven’t been many experienced quick bowlers around him of late and Gul looks tired. Perhaps he needs a month or two away from the game to recharge his batteries and to re-energise him both physically and mentally.


    PakPassion.net: What did you think of the inexperienced Pakistani pace bowlers such as Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, Junaid Khan and Ehsan Adil in South Africa during the Test series?

    Geoff Lawson: They showed some promise. At times they looked good, but they need to be more consistent and that will come with more experience. It’s not just bowling as an individual that is important; you have to be able to bowl as a unit and as a team.

    You need an experienced pace bowler to help out the younger pace bowlers and show them the way. As usual with Pakistani pace bowlers, they showed a tremendous amount of talent and they can all bowl great deliveries, overs and spells but it’s all about consistency over the course of a Test match. The difference between the Pakistani and South African bowling attacks was that the Pakistanis took some wickets with great deliveries but they couldn’t maintain that dominance and that’s what cost them.


    PakPassion.net: There’s been some criticism of Misbah-ul-Haq after the series defeat in South Africa. Do you think it’s justified?

    Geoff Lawson: It’s harsh to judge Misbah just on the South African Test series as the opposition bowling was of the highest calibre. Misbah is a very smart cricketer who has got the best out of what he has. He’s heading towards 39 years of age and that makes it pretty tough. He’s survived on his instincts and his cricketing intellect and he’s been a great leader. Yes they will have to find a new leader eventually but he’s done a terrific job. His best days were probably when he wasn’t given the opportunities at international level that he should have been given. However, he’s done brilliantly to hang in there at his age, especially given that really there’s only Sachin Tendulkar who is playing Test cricket at a similar age to Misbah.
    Last edited by Saj; 2nd March 2013 at 11:34.



  2. #2
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    I dont think he is being fair on Umar Gul. Gul has been aweful in test cricket for a long while. He has always been a very inconsistent bowler in test cricket and has blown more cold than hot. 10 years is a long time to establish yourself.

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    My opinion has been backed by a cricketing legend.


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    He's been too kind in this interview


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  5. #5
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    Gul has to bowl over 30 overs, the batsmen get rolled over cheaply and he has to bowl 30 more so obviously he'll need a rest eventually. He's been over bowled for more than 2 years now and criticism is unfair



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    Gul needs to give up Test cricket and stick to ODI/T20.

    he just won't be the bowler we want him to be, I don't see how Lawson can suggest burnout as a cause when Pakistan have barely played any cricket recently.


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    we should replace GUL only when we have his replacement
    i thinks GUL with his experience is still number 1 in pak
    junaid looks promising but he is new to the business

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    Quote Originally Posted by khan cricketlover View Post
    we should replace GUL only when we have his replacement
    i thinks GUL with his experience is still number 1 in pak
    junaid looks promising but he is new to the business
    His experience and number 1 ranking in Pakistan is of no value if he does not deliver for Pakistan, he has cost Pakistan the last 2 series with his insipid bowling spells and has looked like a complete amateur in front of Junaid who is just starting out. Persistence with mediocrity leads to tolerance of mediocrity.

  9. #9
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    He need to be given permanent rest from test cricket.

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    Everyone knows that in Pak a person in authority NEVER leaves of his own volition - he has to be forced in some form of coup!!!
    Misbah has survived on cunning by perpetually picking a weakened team/ bizarre decisions and strategy employed/ picking his pals or rubbish players who will be his sycophants and doing his best to rise above the mediocrity in the team in order to strengthen his position (although of late his scratching around at the crease has been failing)
    Gul has never recovered from the savage beating he got at the hands of Sehwag and co in the WC semi - he's mentally broken................

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    Quote Originally Posted by 786warrior View Post
    Everyone knows that in Pak a person in authority NEVER leaves of his own volition - he has to be forced in some form of coup!!!
    Misbah has survived on cunning by perpetually picking a weakened team/ bizarre decisions and strategy employed/ picking his pals or rubbish players who will be his sycophants and doing his best to rise above the mediocrity in the team in order to strengthen his position (although of late his scratching around at the crease has been failing)
    Gul has never recovered from the savage beating he got at the hands of Sehwag and co in the WC semi - he's mentally broken................
    Gul was rubbish and inconsistent even before that savage beating by Sehwag. He is not a pressure player. In a good team he wouldnt even be the third seamer. It pained me to see Asif and Amir create pressure, take wickets up front and then Junaid, Irfan create pressure, take wickets up front only for Umar Gul to come in and just relieve pressure all the time. Without reverse swing he is completely clueless. With the 2 new balls in place that has been nulified.

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    I agree with Lawson. Gul needs some time away from cricket, like 10 years or so


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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    Gul was rubbish and inconsistent even before that savage beating by Sehwag. He is not a pressure player. In a good team he wouldnt even be the third seamer. It pained me to see Asif and Amir create pressure, take wickets up front and then Junaid, Irfan create pressure, take wickets up front only for Umar Gul to come in and just relieve pressure all the time. Without reverse swing he is completely clueless. With the 2 new balls in place that has been nulified.
    Singing from the same hymn sheet bro!!

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    Umar Gul definitely needs a rest of few months. He seems tired

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    Honestly Gul has looked extremely tired since the last year or so. Needs at least a year of rest. Give youngsters a chance till that time and I'm pretty sure a few will establish themselves


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    Give up tests, stick to limited overs.

    If the other two/one pacer really steps up in ODIs (both Junaid and Irfan relatively inexperienced) and Gul is the weak link, replace him from that too.

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    Well said Lawson. He definitely understands Gul better than Mohammad Akram and team management. Mental fatigue can be lethal for consistency...

    Gul is going down and down... can't get worse than that

    should take a break and come back with a boom and show his skills

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahson Afzal View Post
    Honestly Gul has looked extremely tired since the last year or so. Needs at least a year of rest. Give youngsters a chance till that time and I'm pretty sure a few will establish themselves
    Tired? Pakistan hardly plays any test matches. Tiredness is a lame excuse. Australian, South African, English bowlers play twice the amount of cricket but dont use tiredness as an excuse. His problems are more to do with temperament and a lack of bowling intelligence than anything else.

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    His comment on Misbah is spot on .
    PakPassion.net: There’s been some criticism of Misbah-ul-Haq after the series defeat in South Africa. Do you think it’s justified?

    Geoff Lawson: It’s harsh to judge Misbah just on the South African Test series as the opposition bowling was of the highest calibre. Misbah is a very smart cricketer who has got the best out of what he has. He’s heading towards 39 years of age and that makes it pretty tough. He’s survived on his instincts and his cricketing intellect and he’s been a great leader. Yes they will have to find a new leader eventually but he’s done a terrific job. His best days were probably when he wasn’t given the opportunities at international level that he should have been given. However, he’s done brilliantly to hang in there at his age, especially given that really there’s only Sachin Tendulkar who is playing Test cricket at a similar age to Misbah.


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    How long was his break after SL series?? Pakistan hasn't been playing much test cricket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alberto View Post
    My opinion has been backed by a cricketing legend.
    No it hasn't. Your opinion, as repeated 3.73934 million times by you on this forum, is that Gul is a crap bowler who has no business playing cricket and should never be in the team again. Here's what Lawson had to say:

    I expected Gul to do very well in South Africa. He’s been terrific for a long time now and it’s not as if he’s been out of form lately. However I get the feeling he’s burned out; there’s been a lot of pressure on him as the experienced bowler, as the leader of the pace attack. As a result he’s looking jaded and in need of some time away from cricket as everybody does from time to time. There haven’t been many experienced quick bowlers around him of late and Gul looks tired. Perhaps he needs a month or two away from the game to recharge his batteries and to re-energise him both physically and mentally.


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    I know Gul has bowled well today but Lawson has a point and I think there are issues with his bowling.

    I'm in the camp that suggests that Gul sticks to limited overs cricket for the longetivity of his career.



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    Look forward to see how he bowls in the ODI.


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    Gul should only be used in tests as a third seamer - after junaid and irfan

    Good effort from Gul and the whole team today - fantastic play!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    Tired? Pakistan hardly plays any test matches. Tiredness is a lame excuse. Australian, South African, English bowlers play twice the amount of cricket but dont use tiredness as an excuse. His problems are more to do with temperament and a lack of bowling intelligence than anything else.
    Spot on!!

    Couldnt have put it beter myself!!

    Average Pak play around 5-6 test matches a year. So he cant be that tired!!!

  26. #26
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    Umar Gul needs permanent time away from test matches

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalculatedRisk View Post
    Umar Gul needs permanent time away from test matches
    I dont think thats a solution. Gul needs to work out what is going wrong in tests. Coaches need to help him, maybe he should spend some time with Waqar and Wasim and see if they can help him some how.

    We need Gul more then ever and he needs to step up his game in tests!!

    Come on Gul, sort it out!! Stop pansing around!!!!

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    Re: "Umar Gul Needs Some Time away from Cricket" : Geoff Lawson

    Quote Originally Posted by MILLIONAIRE View Post
    I dont think thats a solution. Gul needs to work out what is going wrong in tests. Coaches need to help him, maybe he should spend some time with Waqar and Wasim and see if they can help him some how.

    We need Gul more then ever and he needs to step up his game in tests!!

    Come on Gul, sort it out!! Stop pansing around!!!!
    He has to perform to be in the test team. It is shameful for someone playing for 10 years and being a non performing spearhead.

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    Re: "Umar Gul Needs Some Time away from Cricket" : Geoff Lawson

    Whenever people start criticizing him he starts gulldozing

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    let's see if he can take up this t20 performance to odi series and be consistent in the wicket tally without giving up more than 5.5 rpo


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    With Gul ruled out of today and possibly 5th game as well, Lawsons wish may well have come true!


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    PakPassion.net: Umar Gul seemed to be out of sorts during the Test series. Did you spot any technical issues with his bowling or is it a case of him just being out form?

    Geoff Lawson: I expected Gul to do very well in South Africa. He’s been terrific for a long time now and it’s not as if he’s been out of form lately. However I get the feeling he’s burned out; there’s been a lot of pressure on him as the experienced bowler, as the leader of the pace attack. As a result he’s looking jaded and in need of some time away from cricket as everybody does from time to time. There haven’t been many experienced quick bowlers around him of late and Gul looks tired. Perhaps he needs a month or two away from the game to recharge his batteries and to re-energise him both physically and mentally.
    spot on by Lawson. After being out for 9 months, Gul has been fantastic, his bowling alone has been able to let us win the two odi games he has featured in till now

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    Great bump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    spot on by Lawson. After being out for 9 months, Gul has been fantastic, his bowling alone has been able to let us win the two odi games he has featured in till now
    Is that entirely true? Didn't he bowl several awful deliveries for some of those wickets? The jury is still out for me, I hope he is a changed bowler but I haven't seen enough evidence of it yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla View Post
    Is that entirely true? Didn't he bowl several awful deliveries for some of those wickets? The jury is still out for me, I hope he is a changed bowler but I haven't seen enough evidence of it yet.
    In both the games he got us early starts by taking 2-3 wickets. While the main reason why we lost the second game and won by a small margin in the first game was due to poor bowling by Sohail Tanvir, who allowed Kusal Perera to settle in.

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    I am not sure if anyone has noticed the lack of speed in his bowling. He was in mid 120s. A long spell in the test match will be the real proof of his form.

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    He still seems not quite fit, yet.

    Maybe it will take a few weeks but still rather an unfit Gul than a fully fit Tanvir.

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    "Umar Gul Needs Some Time away from Cricket" : Geoff Lawson

    Geoff Lawson understands Pakistan cricket like no one else i feel. Period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla View Post
    Is that entirely true? Didn't he bowl several awful deliveries for some of those wickets? The jury is still out for me, I hope he is a changed bowler but I haven't seen enough evidence of it yet.
    For me, he bowled very few "boundary" balls. His lines and lengths were pretty good and you'd expect that from someone who was impressing domestically.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    spot on by Lawson. After being out for 9 months, Gul has been fantastic, his bowling alone has been able to let us win the two odi games he has featured in till now
    Nobody likes to see cricketers injured, but I agree, the injury came at just the right time for Gul. He needed a break and Lawson was spot on.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    In both the games he got us early starts by taking 2-3 wickets. While the main reason why we lost the second game and won by a small margin in the first game was due to poor bowling by Sohail Tanvir, who allowed Kusal Perera to settle in.
    Agree on sohail, I think he has proven beyond any doubt to everyone on the planet except the Pakistani selectors that he is not international standard. But at risk of jinxing myself now, the start to this match is exactly what i would have expected from gul - mediocrity at its finest.

    I still think the majority of wickets he took in the last two games were off bad balls, not good ones, which is worrying for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godzilla View Post
    Agree on sohail, I think he has proven beyond any doubt to everyone on the planet except the Pakistani selectors that he is not international standard. But at risk of jinxing myself now, the start to this match is exactly what i would have expected from gul - mediocrity at its finest.

    I still think the majority of wickets he took in the last two games were off bad balls, not good ones, which is worrying for me.
    That's the thing: he has never been good with the new ball and that is why he has struggled in Test cricket. Well, he used to swing the ball pre 2006 but since T20 everything changed for him.

    He is still the most ideal death bowler and should bowl most of his overs between 25-50.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Pakistan View Post
    That's the thing: he has never been good with the new ball and that is why he has struggled in Test cricket. Well, he used to swing the ball pre 2006 but since T20 everything changed for him.

    He is still the most ideal death bowler and should bowl most of his overs between 25-50.
    Erm, care to rephrase that after giving the game away in te 49th over including a massive six to a number 9 batsman?

    I just don't understand where this fan base is coming from or what it's based on. Prior to his injury he was genuinely awful, and now he's back he looks not much better. What am I missing?

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    Correction, number 10 batsman.

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