Dhaka: Dav Whatmore has been one of the most successful coaches of modern cricket. He was instrumental in turning the Sri Lankans into match winners in the 1996 World Cup.
Whatmore is back with the Lankans for his second innings and is doing a commendable job. "The nature of my job demands a professional approach and not an emotional one. I was as happy as any Sri Lankan when they won the World Cup," Whatmore said in an exclusive interview. The following is an excerpt of the interview.
Do you enjoy coaching?
Yes, it keeps me going. It is great pressure because of the huge expectations of the cricket-crazy Sri Lankans from the national team, but I revel in it.
As an Australian, Did you have mixed feeling when Sri Lanka defeated Australia in the 1996 World Cup final?
I am proud to be an Australian, but now I consider myself to be a Sri Lankan first. The nature of my job demands a professional approach and not an emotional one. I was as happy as any Sri Lankan on that day.
Was it a painful experience to see the decline of a side that you put together so meticulously?
It was indeed sad to see Sri Lanka struggle in the 1999 World Cup. I was then coach of Lancashire and was witness to it.
What made you take up the job of coaching Sri Lanka once more?
I left with no hard feelings and I nurture no grievances. I left when my contract ended. When I was offered the job again, I took it up as achallenge. I am contracted to coach the team till August 2001.
You have quickly turned things around in your second innings. What is the secret of your success?
Look, I have no magic wand. I believe in hard work. I make the boys practice for two hours everyday. Then they do some swimming for an hour. There is no alternative to hard work. And as a coach I try to foster team spirit at every step. It has paid off.