Whatmore not going anywhere: Ashraf
05 March, 2013
KARACHI: Although many are anticipating the news of the national team's coach Dav Whatmore's sacking or voluntary departure, Pakistan's cricket authorities have refuted the speculations for having no substance.
As calls for removal of the Australia-based coach become increasingly vocal in the wake of the team's drubbing in the South Africa Test rubber, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf ruled out an early exit for the coach. The chairman went to add that the coach would stay at least until the expiry of his two-year contract with the board, which is valid till February-March in 2014.
Whatmore has just completed one year of his association with Pakistan and has been under fire after the team failed miserably in the three-match Test series in South Africa, handing a 3-0 triumph to the hosts.
Former Pakistan cricketers have questioned the Aussie's effectiveness, declaring him an ‘overrated coach' and demanding his removal.
Some reports doing the rounds suggested that the board was considering replacing the coach with a local former cricketer after the ongoing tour of South Africa, irrespective of the results in the limited-overs series.
However, the PCB chairman indicated that the board has no plans to remove the coach in the near future.
“His contract is still active,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune when queried about Whatmore's fate. “We'll review the performance after the expiry of the contract. The decision taken on that evaluation would reflect what's best for Pakistan.”
‘PCB still has faith in Whatmore'
Meanwhile, a PCB official declared the heavy criticism against Whatmore unjust, saying the team's performance under the coach was not a complete failure.
“Undoubtedly, the Test performance is a concern but our results in other formats are not bad. People who are criticising the coach must look at the team's overall performance,” said the official.
“Pakistan won the Asia Cup, reached the semi-finals of World Twenty20 besides beating Australia in a Twenty20 series.
“Under his guidance, the One-Day International series victory in India was a good achievement.
“Our performance in Tests is a worrying issue, but factors other than coaching are also contributing to our failure in the longer version. Playing less number of matches as compared to other teams may be one of the reasons.”
Hafeez backs his coach
Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez backed Whatmore, terming the flak against coach ‘premature'.
“It was unfair,” said Hafeez, according to ESPNcricinfo. “If the results of one format do not come in your favour, it does not mean the boys are not working hard or the coach is not good enough.
“Those are all premature statements from people sitting I don't know where. Similarly, if we win, it does not mean the coach is working harder. He was working the same way with us throughout. We are all behind him and we've all been working hard.”