Calcutta: Had the Board of Control for Cricket in India not been wary of upsetting the Bangladesh Cricket Board, a couple of years ago, Dav Whatmore would probably have been working with the Rahul Dravids at this point in time. Whatmore (who coached Sri Lanka to the 1996 World Cup win) is, of course, still fine-tuning the Habibul Bashars. On Sunday, not many hours after his wards stunned India in Port of Spain, he took time off to speak to The Telegraph.
The following are excerpts
On celebrations after the rocking five-wicket victory over India
We got together in the manager’s room at the hotel and, while enjoying the moment and each other’s company, also remembered our friend (left-arm spinner Manjural Islam Rana) who died on the eve of the match… Some of the boys had an Indian meal, but there was no formal team dinner.
On whether he was hopeful of an upset
Knew it was possible, but also knew it would be difficult… We had an excellent first session and what happened in the afternoon was an extension of the morning. The wicket did quite a bit in the first session, though.
On his message during the break
I don’t believe in talking too much during a match… I just reminded that we’d worked out some plans during the previous day’s team meeting… Actually, given the way the boys played (in the first session), there was little need for me to say anything at all.
On Bangladesh’s outstanding fielding
We’ve been working hard… We realise it’s an important area.
On the flamboyant manner in which his teenaged batsmen (Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqibul Hasan) tore into the experienced Indian bowlers
They’ve got guts… They’ve got character… They’ve got the hunger. I’m proud of them.
On whether Saturday’s win gave more satisfaction than the five-wicket victory over Australia in Cardiff two years ago
(Laughs) It’s a tough one… Both have their importance, but the one over India has come in the World Cup...
On Bangladesh’s chances of making the Super Eight
Good, don’t you think'
On the line he intends taking at the first post-win team meeting
Boys, this is just the beginning.
On whether he’d expected Ireland to stun Pakistan
No… The Irish play well, but I’d never imagined they would knock out Pakistan.
On a Super Saturday for the smaller teams
The so-called minnows debate may continue, but some teams do need exposure to develop… You can have the odd one-sided match, like Sri Lanka-Bermuda or South Africa-The Netherlands, but you could also have the Ireland-Pakistan result. Frankly, there’s no substitute for exposure… That’s the way forward.
Finally, on plans after April 30, when his contract with Bangladesh ends
(Laughs again) Right now, I don’t know…