Whatmore emerges front-runner for India job

Published: Sunday, June 3, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Australian Dav Whatmore has emerged as the favourite to edge out Indian candidates when an BCCI committee meets to select a new national coach on Monday.

"I hope we will finalise it tomorrow," Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters on Sunday.

"Whatmore is 100 per cent under consideration."

India are looking to name a successor to former Australia captain Greg Chappell, who quit following the team's shock first round exit at the March-April World Cup in the Caribbean.

Whatmore, who coached Sri Lanka to World Cup victory in 1996, took Bangladesh into the second round for the first time at this year's tournament but chose not to renew his contract and expressed his interest in coaching India.

Senior board officials travelled to Bangladesh last month during the Indian tour to meet Whatmore.

The seven-member panel, which includes former captains Sunil Gavaskar, Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Ravi Shastri, will meet in Bangalore on Monday.

Gavaskar and former skipper Kapil Dev, head of the National Cricket Academy, favour an Indian candidate although domestic media have reported that senior players want an overseas coach.

According to a BCCI official Gavaskar is keen on recommending an "ex-India cricketer" for the coach's candidacy. Speculation are rife that Sunny is interested in Gundappa Viswanath. Even if Whatmore is appointed the coach, the panel might be inclined to have Viswanath in the capacity of batting consultant.

South Africa's Grahame Ford and India's ex-cricketer Madan Lal have also emerged strong contenders.

"We will discuss with all members, there could be other names floating around," Shah said. "But if available, we will go for a foreign coach."


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