The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Whatmore keeps Bangla fretting
- No response from the coach to a communication from a hassled BCB

Calcutta: Dav Whatmore, it appears, doesn’t want to continue as Bangladesh’s coach.

According to The Telegraph’s sources in Dhaka, he hasn’t responded to a “communication” from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) asking whether he would at least be willing to stay on till the end of the home series against India — May 29.

Whatmore’s contract is till April 29, when the World Cup ends.

“The communication was sent three-four days ago, but Whatmore hasn’t got back till now (late on Tuesday). That’s strange,” one of the sources pointed out.

He added: “As we’re still in the World Cup, one can’t have a face to face dialogue… The terms and conditions of a fresh contract can only be discussed when Whatmore returns, but the BCB wanted a commitment till the next series, which isn’t many days away…

“By not responding, the coach has indicated he doesn’t wish to continue…”

Whether Whatmore replies or not, the BCB’s Executive Board is meeting on Wednesday to decide who will wear the coach’s hat when Rahul Dravid’s men cross the border.

Bangladesh’s last World Cup match is versus the West Indies in Barbados on Thursday. India’s tour begins on May 7.

Whatmore, who has been with Bangladesh for four years, was ticked off by the BCB earlier this month for putting his hand up for the India job.

“If the opportunity comes along, surely any person who is a professional coach and prides himself in doing a good job would be interested in coaching the Indian team,” Whatmore told newspersons after Greg Chappell announced he wouldn’t seek an extension.

The BCB’s reaction was sharp: “We are in the midst of a very high profile tournament. At this stage, any such interest of the coach would certainly distract our team.”

Bangladesh lost to Ireland the other day, but that was after stunning India (group stage) and South Africa in the Super Eight.

Not many, perhaps, may recall that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had been keen on getting Whatmore before the BCB did.

That was soon after the 2003 World Cup and a former India cricketer did all the negotiating.

Initially, Whatmore would have been associated with the Bangalore-located National Cricket Academy and, later, taken over from John Wright.

It’s not clear why the BCCI backed out, though.

Now, it’s to be seen whether the ‘let’s-get-Whatmore’ move is revived by the Sharad Pawar regime.

Before shifting base to Dhaka, Whatmore had two stints with Sri Lanka. The first saw the island nation win the 1996 World Cup.

That achievement remains the most glittering entry in the Colombo-born Australian’s CV.

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