Geoff Lawson and Dav Whatmore have become the stronger candidates for the post of coach of Pakistan Cricket Team. The experience of Dav Whatmore and his extra liking for the Pakistan cricket team have made him a favorite for the national coaching job.
Though his countryman Geoff Lawson is not far behind at this stage, Whatmore has impressed the people who matter during his stay in Pakistan for a series of interviews.
An investigation conducted by ‘The News’ revealed that Whatmore, who is a former coach of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, seems very interested in the job and gave clear hints about his extra liking for the national team during his meetings with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials.
“In fact, he has given some valuable suggestions and also unveiled some of his plans for the team if appointed,” an insider told ‘The News’.
The run for the post has now become a two-horse race with Whatmore clearly ahead at this point of time.
Whatmore’s plus points include his know how of South Asian conditions and his knowledge about the temperament of the people of the subcontinent. He helped Sri Lanka win the 1996 World Cup and also succeeded in getting the best out of the Bangladesh team.
Otherwise just a club level team, Bangladesh have beat teams like Australia, India and West Indies under his coaching. He is considered among the best coaches in the world.
“The best thing about Whatmore is that he is current and unlike Geoff Lawson has been coaching teams at the highest level,” a well placed source in the PCB said.
Whatmore’s recent rejection by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also helped his case as he has now started showing more interest in the Pakistan job.
“This is a natural reaction. If a top coach feels he has not been treated properly, chances of his getting over enthusiastic over an alternate option cannot be ruled out. Now Whatmore wants the Pakistan job at all costs,” an insider said.
One thing that goes against Whatmore, however, is that some senior players are reluctant to favour his selection.
Majority of the senior players who talked with ‘The News’ in the last couple of days prefer Lawson, saying Whatmore could be the one more difficult to handle.
“Whatmore has stayed in the subcontinent as a coach for well over 10 years now. On the other hand, Lawson would take this new job as a challenge. There are chances of Whatmore getting too monotonous,” a senior team member asking not to be named said.
He said though some players do favor Whatmore, most think Lawson would be a better option. “No-one is clear about how Whatmore would treat the senior players. Some senior players have apprehensions about the former Bangladesh coach,” he said.
The committee appointed to shortlist and interview the coaching candidates will now submit their recommendations to PCB Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf who will get the approval from the ad hoc committee by the end of this month.