Dav Whatmore in dark over India future

Published: Monday, May 28, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Bangladesh's outgoing coach Dav Whatmore on Monday dismissed as "mere speculation" reports he had been offered a job with India, saying nothing had been finalised yet.

Indian media has been reporting for the past week that Whatmore, 53, had been offered a one-year contract by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which could be extended by another two years.

"I am not India's coach, it is mere speculation," he told reporters a day after completing his four-year tenure with Bangladesh following the conclusion of the Indian tour.

"I have had discussions with BCCI officials where I told them I was interested but that's all there is to it. I have not heard from them since."

A seven-man committee appointed by the BCCI to pick a new coach will meet in Bangalore on June 4 to choose a successor to Australian Greg Chappell, who quit after India's first-round exit from the World Cup.

Former captain-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri acted as interim coach for the Bangladesh tour, where India won both the one-day and Test series.

Shastri declined to take up the assignment on a long-term basis, citing media commitments.

Whatmore, a Sri Lanka-born Australian, said he was "very interested" in coaching cricket-mad India, regarded as one of the most demanding jobs in the sport.

"It will be a logical extension to bigger challenges," he said. "It will help to accumulate more knowledge of the game I love so much.

"I was with Bangladesh for four years and they wanted me to continue. But a coach has a shelf life. One needs a different challenge after a few years. I need to move on."

Whatmore said coaching teams from the sub-continent was different from doing the job with England or Australia.

"One has to understand the culture here is fundamentally different," he said. "The key is effective communication. You have to understand the subtle differences that exist here.

"But what will never change is the fact that players make a coach. They go out there and bat, bowl and take catches. They go to the battlefield. The coach just has to make sure they get all the help."

Whatmore, who played seven Tests for Australia in 1979 as a top order batsman, is rated as one of the best cricket coaches ever since masterminding Sri Lanka's triumphant World Cup campaign in 1996.

He returned from the recent World Cup in the Caribbean with his reputation enhanced after Bangladesh qualified for the second round for the first time and secured wins over India and formidable South Africa.

He also coached English county side Lancashire and had another stint with Sri Lanka, before taking up the challenge to transform Bangladesh cricket in 2003.

Under Whatmore, Bangladesh secured their lone Test win over Zimbabwe and won five one-dayers against established teams, including world champions Australia, South Africa, India (twice) and Sri Lanka.

All four Asian Test teams are looking for a new coach.

While Chappell quit India after the World Cup, Pakistan's Bob Woolmer died during the tournament and Sri Lanka's Tom Moody opted to return home to coach Western Australia.

India will have a new coach in place before the tours of Ireland and England commence in late-June.


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