Ranji Trophy: Baroda offers Dav Whatmore head coach role

Dav Whatmore is set to become Baroda's first foreign coach. He will also be BCA's cricket director for the next two years, if the deal works out

Dav Whatmore

After coaching the Kerala Ranji Trophy team over the last few years, Dav Whatmore is expected to take charge of Baroda for the coming season.   -  M. Vedhan

The Baroda Cricket Association has offered head coach role to Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning coach Dav Whatmore for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season.

Ajit Lele, secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA), confirmed the development to Sportstar, and added that the Australian coach could also be BCA's cricket director for the next two years, if the deal works out.

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"From our side, we have finalised the deal. In this time of lockdown, it is not possible for him to come down to India and sign the contract, but we are sending him the letter of intent by today or tomorrow. If he is okay with it, we can complete the formalities once he returns to India," Lele said.

"There were a few other candidates in the fray as well, but we have decided to go ahead with Whatmore. He has vast experience and that will help us in the future," he added.

Chandrakant Pandit and Sulakshan Kulkarni were also in the mix, but after Pandit took charge of Madhya Pradesh, the BCA decided to go ahead with Whatmore. He will Baroda's first foreign coach.

Last season, Baroda had roped in the seasoned Sanath Kumar as head coach, but he informed the BCA this season that he won't be able to continue due to health issues.

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Whatmore was the Kerala Ranji Trophy team's head coach for the last few years and took the team to the semifinals in 2019. This time around, the Kerala State association decided to look beyond him and is yet to name his replacement.

While Whatmore wasn't available for a comment, his manager Kaustuv Lahiri has confirmed the development.

In a statement on Wednesday, Satyajitsinh Gaekwad, chairman of press and  publicity, BCA, stated: “The apex council members of the Baroda Cricket Association have given a go ahead for the office bearers to have a discussion with Mr. Dav Whatmore on the coaching / mentoring position. The association is still in discussion, internally, on availability ( due to the unprecedented situation of the pandemic ) and the terms of engagement .The decision on appointment of the coach will be announced officially once there is clarity on availability and a closure of the role and compensations for the position.”

“The process of communication, intent, clarity of role and compensation is in the discussion stage and the work is in progress at the moment. Unfortunately, in the current situation all discussions are in virtual space and any on Ground decisions will be taken once there is clarity on cricketing activities resuming normally.”

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