Whatmore arrives to formally join National Cricket Academy

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Mumbai : Former Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said here Saturday that he has formally accepted the post of director of operations at the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy (NCA).

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“Yes, I have joined the NCA but I can’t give an interview until I speak to Ravi (Shastri), the NCA chairman,” Whatmore told IANS.

Whatmore, a former Australia Test batsman who coached Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup title, was at the Brabourne Stadium with his wife and few other people to watch the India-Australia Twenty20 International scheduled for the evening.

Asked if he has arrived with his baggage, he said: “Yes, I have. And my wife will also be here for some days.”

It is well-known that Shastri was keen to have Whatmore as India’s national coach following Greg Chappell’s departure. Chappell’s two-year contract with the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) ended last March soon after India’s disastrous World Cup campaign.

Shastri, in his capacity as the then interim coach of the Indian team in Bangladesh in May, had also arranged Whatmore’s meeting with BCCI president Sharad Pawar in Chittagong. The talks, however, failed and the Indian team is without a permanent coach.

Soon after that Shastri turned down the job due to his media commitments. Then Chandu Borde, 73, was named the coach of the Indian team for the recent tour of England and currently Lalchand Rajput, a former India Test batsman, is the interim team coach.

Shastri meanwhile, did not give up on Whatmore and was keen on ensuring the latter was associated with Indian cricket in some capacity. His efforts bore fruit when the BCCI saw merit in appointing the Australian as the director of operations at the NCA.

A permanent coach, however, remains elusive for the BCCI. BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah says the board has received “15-20 applications” for the post.