Retaining ODI status and improving ranking top priorities of newly appointed coach WhatmoreWhatmore, who has coached the national sides of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe and the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, was in Nepal for high performance training in February 2017.
Newly appointed national cricket team's head coach Dav Whatmore said on Thursday that retaining the ODI status of Nepal and improving rankings were his top priorities.
"We must ensure that Nepal retain their ODI status and improve their rankings and I am very much happy to accept these challenges. The immediate job is to prepare the boys to win the game," said the 66-year-old who guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup trophy in 1996 at his first press conference as the head coach of the men's national team.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had granted Nepal the ODI status for four years beginning June 2018. This has been extended by another year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) President Chatur Bahadur Chand expressed his satisfaction that Nepal had finally got a results-oriented coach. "We are hopeful that Nepal will make a leap under his leadership. We will try to gain more heights in his tenure," he said.
Whatemore arrived in Nepal on Sunday following his appointment to the hot seat beginning on January 1. But he was self-isolating owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and came out after he tested negative for the coronavirus.
"I would like to thank the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) board for having confidence in me and will try to use my expertise to improve cricket in the country," said Whatmore. Speaking about his challenges, he said: "This is not an easy position and there are challenges both at the associate level and full member level to be able to improve rankings. I will try to help with my knowledge and expertise and share everything with the players."
"There are certain principles that work and I know what they are and I am going to apply that with Nepal cricket. The immediate job is to prepare the group of boys together to win the games," said Whatmore who played seven Tests and a lone ODI for Australia between 1979 and 1980.
As coach, Whatmore’s first assignment is to prepare the squad for the ICC World Cricket League 2, a gateway to ICC World Cup, against Oman and the US set to take place in March 2021 in Oman.
Talking about Nepal's prospects of playing in the World Cup, Whatmore said, "Reaching the world cup level is very difficult and a lot of countries are trying what we are trying. I can't promise where you get, but you get better chance when you do certain things and get the right results. Nevertheless, unless we dream and have aspirations to reach high level it is never going to happen. But each day, one game at a time, one week at a time is the way for improvement."
Whatmore, who has coached the national sides of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe and the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, was in Nepal for high performance training in February 2017.
CAN secretary Ashok Nath Pyakurel said retaining the ODI status, improving rankings and getting results were the targets given to him. "He will also work as the consultant coach for the women's national and U-19 teams," said Pyakurel, adding that they would work closely with him for formulation of plans and policies from the grassroots level and reviving cricket in the country.
"Nepali cricket will gain greater heights with a coach having such experience and exposure. His tenure will be best for Nepal cricket," said Pyakurel.