Whatmore, Bashar set for their last one-dayer in Bangladesh

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali


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Chittagong : Bangladesh cricketers will try to give a befitting farewell to their coach Dav Whatmore and captain Habibul Bashar by trying to win Tuesday's third and final One-day International (ODI) against India here.

Although India have already wrested the three-match series 2-0, the Bangladeshi players are expected to strive to go for a consolation win to give a fond farewell to Whatmore – and also Bahsar, 34, who will be playing his last ODI in Bangladesh.

While Whatmore, 53, has already put in his papers after the completion of his four-year contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Basher has announced that this would be his last ODI series at home.

Whatmore has been one of the most successful coaches of recent times, discounting the Australian coach John Buchanan who guided his team to two World Cup titles.

The Bangladesh coach, who was born in Sri Lanka but played for Australia, had earlier moulded the Sri Lankan team from a non-entity to the 1996 World Cup crown.

One of the high points of Whatmore's tenure – he joined the BCB in 2003 – was Bangladesh's upset win over world champions Australia in Cardiff, England, in 2005.

The other was Bangladesh's first Test series win against Zimbabwe here in January 2005.

More recently, Bangladesh stunned India in the World Cup to hasten the exit of Rahul Dravid's side in the first round, while they advanced to the second round.

The future plans of Whatmore – who played seven Tests and a solitary ODI – are not known after he leaves Bangladesh as he himself says that he has no job on hand at the moment.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf a few days ago said that the board was in touch with Whatmore. Pakistan team is without any national coach following the death of Bob Woolmer during the World Cup in the West Indies in March.

Bashar, on the other hand, is also on the last legs of a pretty successful career. He is the most successful Bangladesh captain, and would like to go out on the home front with a win.

A competent right-handed batsman, Bashar was captained Bangladesh in their first ever Test win. He himself scored a fine 94 and 55 in that 266-run verdict in this coastal city.

Bashar is expected to continue to play Test cricket, and also the shorter version of the game, but outside the country as there are no ODIs scheduled in Bangladesh this year.

"This will be my last one-day series at home and I want to leave on a high. I am saying this because we don't play any more ODIs at home this year and I don't see myself continuing in limited overs cricket by the time the next ODI series is held in Bangladesh," he had said before the three-match series against India started.

Bashar has aggregated 2,838 runs at 34.61 in 42 Test matches. He has also hit three centuries.

In the ODIs, he scored 2,168 runs at 21.68 in 111 matches so far. Although he has not scored any ton, he has hit 14 half-centuries with 78 being the best.