World Cup-winning coach Whatmore to take charge of national cricket squadThe Australian, who won the 1996 World Cup with Sri Lanka, starts his stint in Nepal from the New Year.
Former World Cup-winning coach Dav Whatmore has been appointed head coach of the Nepali national men's cricket team.
The Sri Lanka-born Australian national, who coached Sri Lanka to a World Cup win in 1996, takes charge of the squad from the New Year. He succeeds India’s Umesh Patwal, who resigned from the post in February.
Whatmore, who played seven Tests and a lone ODI for Australia between 1979-1980, has coached the national sides of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe and the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. The national teams he coached have played 87 Tests and 315 ODIs between 1996-2016 under his watch.
The 66-year-old, however, is not a new name for Nepal as he had conducted a two-week high performance training camp in 2017 for 32 players, including members of the national cricket team.
In an interview with Republica in 2017, the Australian had said: "You (Nepal) are at the highest level of the World Cricket League (on the eve of Nepal's Cricket League ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Kenya in 2017).”
“You participated in the 50-over competition of the highest league. You have the chance to play in the World Cup. In the future, Nepal even has chance to get Test membership but there is a long way to go. A number of things have to be on track," he had said.
As coach, Whatmore’s first assignment is to prepare the squad for the ICC World Cricket League 2 against Oman and the US set to take place in March 2021 in Oman.
Despite exceeding the maximum age limit of 60 years set by CAN for the job, the office bearers of the national cricket governing body were so impressed with the Australian that they decided to waive the provision.
"After a lot of discussions, we unanimously decided to appoint him (Whatmore)," CAN President Chatur Bahadur Chand said. "We have high expectations from him. He said Nepal has high potential as a cricketing nation and was eager to join team Nepal."
"Though we had set a maximum age limit of 60 in the vacancy announcement, we decided to choose him. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given its nod for his appointment," said Chand.
On his appointment as Nepal head coach, Whatmore’s manager Kaustav Lahiri said: "Dav is extremely keen to take this new challenge as he strongly believes Nepal has some great talent and has a very bright future in cricket. Nepal is a beautiful country and Dav is looking forward to his new challenge with a bunch of young talent in Nepal.”
Altogether 72 individuals, including former coach Pubudu Dassanayake, had applied for the post of head coach since a vacancy announcement was made on September 3. CAN had chosen 12 coaches for a final round of interviews. "He was also very much excited about the coaching job in Nepal. During the interview, we had allocated 20 minutes for each candidate to present their plans and programmes. But he was so excited that he spoke for 25 minutes," said Chand.
Whatmore will get a monthly paycheque of $8,000-12,000 for his services. The government had allocated $10,000 for the previous foreign cricket coach through the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Along with Dassanayake, who led the Nepali team to World Twenty20 in 2014, Indian’s Apurva Desai was also one of the favourites to land the job.
Meanwhile, CAN has appointed Raunaq Bahadur Malla its general manager, Ramesh Kumar Neupane chief finance officer and former national captain Binod Kumar Das cricket manager.