It is official. The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has roped in Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup-winning coach, Dav Whatmore, as its head coach for the Ranji Trophy. In his two-year term, the Australian coach will also work as the director of cricket.
Sportstar had earlier reported about the development and on Sunday, BCA secretary, Ajit Lele, confirmed Whatmore has given his consent.
“He will join as the head coach and the director of cricket. It will be a two-year contract and he will be involved in scouting younger talents from the age-group stage as well,” BCA secretary, Ajit Lele, told this publication on Sunday. Whatmore, too, confirmed the development.
In his long and illustrious career, Whatmore has coached some of the top cricket teams in the world. In India’s domestic circuit, too, he has made an impact.
Despite having some of the talented players in its ranks, Baroda had a poor outing in the Ranji Trophy last season and could win just two matches. With coach Sanath Kumar suffering a heart attack in the middle of the season, the team too struggled. And taking over from Kumar this season, Whatmore understands that he will have initial challenges.
Once the lockdown ends, Whatmore plans to visit Baroda and spend time with the cricketers in a bid to build up for the season.
After parting ways with Kerala this season, Whatmore had a few other offers, too, but with his visa about to expire, he had to fly back home. His manager, Kaustuv Lahiri, was in negotiation with the Baroda Cricket Association and sealed the deal. “The deal has been sealed. Once the lockdown is lifted, he (Whatmore) will be in India and take charge officially,” Lahiri said.
Initially, BCA had shortlisted Whatmore, Chandrakant Pandit and Sulakshan Kulkarni for the top job. But with Pandit taking charge as Madhya Pradesh coach, the Baroda association roped in Whatmore -- a development which this publication had reported earlier in the week.
“We had shortlisted a few candidates but decided to go ahead with Whatmore because of his vast experience. We are hopeful that his experience will help the team,” Lele had told this publication earlier.
Even though he is far away in Australia, Whatmore has spoken to the top officials of the Baroda Cricket Association to understand his role.
In the past, Whatmore has worked with teams like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, besides being part of the Kerala Ranji Trophy team and the National Cricket Academy.
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