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Dav has one-on-one with PCB chief
- Australian frontrunner to meet Shoaib Malik & Co. in abbottabad today

Calcutta: “I’m taking one step at a time and I’m not going to speculate...”

Dav Whatmore, clearly, turned ‘shy’ after being bitten by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. So, he was careful with his words after a one-on-one with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Dr Nasim Ashraf, on Thursday evening.

The meeting took place in Islamabad, some hours after Whatmore was interviewed by the PCB’s three-member special committee in Lahore.

Former captain Imtiaz Ahmed, Mudassar Nazar and Zakir Khan have been empowered to identify the coach most suited to succeed the late Bob Woolmer.

Whatmore, one learns, is ahead in a three-man race.

“The interview was constructive... The meeting with the chairman was very cordial... Basically, it was a continuation of the session in the morning... At this stage, it wouldn’t be proper to say anything more,” he told The Telegraph.

Whatmore added: “Speculation didn’t help when I made myself available for the India job (last month)... I’m sure it won’t help in this case either... Of course, I know I have the credentials and am aware of the Pakistani cricketers’ potential...”

Just weeks ago, Whatmore had been the frontrunner to take the chair occupied by Greg Chappell. Yet, unlike Graham Ford and John Emburey, he wasn’t even called for a presentation by the Sunil Gavaskars.

Ford got selected, but the South African decided to continue with Kent. Our cricket establishment hasn’t recovered from that snub.

“No... I really wouldn’t like to comment on what happened in India... That’s done with... Today, I’m looking forward to travelling to Abbottabad and meeting the captain (Shoaib Malik) and the other players,” Whatmore said.

He leaves for the conditioning camp on Friday morning and will start the journey home the next day.

The other two candidates, incidentally, are also Australians: Former quick Geoff Lawson and the International Cricket Council’s high-performance manager, Richard Done.

Lawson and Done were interviewed before Whatmore.

Yet another Australian, Steve Rixon, had been the PCB’s No.1 choice. However, he decided against a second innings (first was with New Zealand) as the coach of a national team.

Rixon was recommended by former captain Wasim Akram.

The PCB is unlikely to reach a decision within the next few days — manager Talat Ali is expected to play a double role versus India (in Scotland) as well — but the 1996 World Cup-winning coach isn’t impatient.

Whatmore’s USP is that he has worked with Asian teams. Twice with the Sri Lankans and once with Bangladesh.

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