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Since 1st March, 1999
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Bangladesh job a great challenge for Whatmore
Dav Whatmore at a press conference in Dhaka Monday. (AFP)

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s new cricket coach Dav Whatmore said on Monday his immediate goal will be to groom the team to win its first match after losing for nearly four years.

“I want a definite improvement in terms of a win,” Whatmore said on arrival in Dhaka at the start of a five-day introductory visit.

Whatmore said it’s a “great challenge to coach a team that has not won a match in three years and nine months.”

However, he warned that Bangladesh should not expect a quick success from him. “We will have to be realistic,” he said. “We can’t expect to win a match next month.”

He said he believed Bangladeshi players have talent to turn around. “I’ve taken up the job because I believe it’s possible for Bangladesh to do well,” he said.

“I feel Bangladesh have more of a defeatist attitude than anything else. We need to change this base attitude for overall improvement.”

Whatmore said he planned to apply the techniques he used with Sri Lanka to bring success. “Technique, physical fitness, running behind the wickets, fielding, mental toughness,” he said.

The BCB has selected a group of 21 players to meet Whatmore on Wednesday.

The selected players include those who took part in the 2003 World Cup and the Test series at home against South Africa.

Whatmore’s first challenge will be to prepare the Bangladesh team for its Test tour of Australia in July. Bangladesh has not won a Test or a limited-overs match since gaining Test status in 2000.

His contract will initially be for two years, but may be extended until the 2007 World Cup if things go well, Bangladesh’s top cricket official said.

“Dav Whatmore has agreed to work with us for two years,” BCB chairman Ali Asghar Loby said. “But we will be willing to keep him until the next World Cup in 2007 if the team does well.”

Whatmore will be Bangladesh’s fifth foreign coach in as many years. He replaces Pakistani Mohsin Kamal, who was fired after Bangladesh’s dismal World Cup performance.

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