Hohns hits back at Lawson comments - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hohns hits back at Lawson comments

By Jim Morton and Philip Henderson 16/02/2006 07:02:33 PM Comments (0)

Chief selector Trevor Hohns has returned fire after former Ashes teammate Geoff Lawson labelled Mitchell Johnson's inclusion in the Australian one-day squad a "disgrace".

Lawson said Hohns' four-man selection panel had made a serious error in judgment in picking the raw 24-year-old speedster to tour South Africa.

The former Australian quick pointed to Johnson's poor domestic one-day return of just eight wickets at 48.75 while conceding more than five runs an over for Queensland this season.

"His stats do not stack up," Lawson told Sydney radio 2KY.

"There are 25 bowlers in Australian cricket who have much better numbers than him.

"So how he gets in the team is an absolute disgrace."

Hohns, who played alongside Lawson in Australia's memorable 1989 4-0 Ashes drubbing in England, took fierce aim at the comments and questioned Lawson's motives.

"To criticise the selection of a young and up-and-coming fast bowler who is rated by most as an outstanding prospect of the future is purely publicity-seeking garbage," Hohns said.

"Everyone who knows anything about the game knows there isn't many young fast bowlers of this quality in the country and I would have thought former fast bowlers should be encouraging young players not criticising them.

"I must say I haven't seen Geoff Lawson watching too much state cricket this year so I must ask what qualifies him to make such comments other than a statistics sheet.

"Geoff is obviously another person who finds it easier to sit back and criticise rather than helping and encouraging."

The selectors felt the criticism was ironic considering Lawson was a staunch supporter of Brett Lee when they copped flak for picking the then-struggling NSW quick two years ago in spite of poor returns.

Left-armer Johnson, like Lee then, is at the forefront of the panel's mind due to his natural pace and ability to rattle batsmen on flat wickets.

There is a feeling he may be a greater handful on the batsman-friendly Caribbean wickets at the 2007 World Cup than fellow left-armer Nathan Bracken who relies heavily on swing.

With Glenn McGrath unavailable for the six-match limited-overs tour, Lee with 126 games is the only paceman with more than 50 one-day internationals under his belt.

Johnson finished with 0-64 off nine overs in his only international match in December when New Zealand chased a record 332 to win.

He was unfazed by Lawson's comments, saying his prime motivation was to make the most of his opportunity.

"It's going to be in the back of my mind a little bit ... but I just want to get out there and make myself proud," Johnson said.

Lawson felt Jason Gillespie, dumped from the Australian team after last year's Ashes series, deserved selection after returning to form with South Australia in the Pura Cup.

While his ING Cup one-day figures (seven wickets at 50.85) aren't flash, Gillespie has taken 25 first-class wickets at 21.16.

"Gillespie ... was asked to go back to domestic cricket and find some form," Lawson said.

"I think he's done that particularly well. He's got 250 Test wickets and 140-odd one-day wickets, and you pick Mitchell Johnson ... is it because you come from north of the Tweed?" he asked.

Johnson has taken 18 Pura Cup wickets at 30.05 and was the pick of the Bulls attack in their nine-wicket win over NSW last month.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news