Subsequent to the national team’s poor performance in the ICC Champions Trophy, the sword is hanging not only over the players, but could shred the contract of head coach Dav Whatmore.
It has been learnt that the performance of the entire team in the upcoming West Indies tour will be under the scanner.
During Zaka Ashraf’s tenure, various top officials were adamant to let Whatmore serve his two-year term with backing from the now suspended chairman of the board.
“Now these officials don’t have much to defend Whatmore,” an official close to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) think tank told The Express Tribune. “There has been no significant improvement even after over a year under the coach who was hired because of his high-profile reputation.
“The sacking of Mickey Arthur by Cricket Australia after their Champions Trophy failure just before the important Ashes series has also contributed to the change of mind among authorities. The board has the right to remove coaches on the basis of performance.
“Interim chairman Najam Sethi is also not too happy with the performance of the coach as he took over at the time when Pakistan flopped badly in the Champions Trophy.”
The official further disclosed that Sethi was assessing everything himself in order to prepare a report.
“The upcoming series in the West Indies is crucial for the team management and any sacking cannot be ruled out if the team continues to fail. The One-Day International (ODI) careers of senior players like Shahid Afridi are also at stake in this tour.”
Whatmore’s stint so far
Under the coach, who is reportedly drawing Rs2 million monthly from his contract, Pakistan won the Asia Cup in March 2012 soon after he was appointed.
The national team then beat India in a bilateral ODI series, besides winning the Twenty20 series against Australia and South Africa. The coach also mentored the team to the semi-finals of the World T20 Championship.
However, Pakistan lost their ODI series against Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa besides finishing bottom in the Champions Trophy after losing all group matches.
Pakistan have not won a single Test under Whatmore as they lost their series against Sri Lanka and suffered a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of South Africa.
Mohsin in picture again?
It has also been learnt that a meeting between Sethi and former coach Mohsin Khan was expected soon.
“The interim chairman has shown interest in meeting Mohsin,” said the official.
“There is a possibility that Mohsin might be offered a key role excluding the vacant chief selector post as he is more interested in field work.”
Mohsin, under whom Pakistan did well including a whitewash in Test series against England, was removed to pave way for Whatmore.
Pakistan announce SA series schedule
PCB yesterday announced the schedule for their series against South Africa in October, involving two Tests, five ODIs and two T20 games.
The series will be played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE – Pakistan’s de facto home grounds for international cricket since 2009.
Pakistan have been forced to play abroad because foreign teams have refused to tour the country since the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked in Lahore in 2009.
It will be South Africa’s second series against Pakistan in the UAE, following two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s in 2010.
The PCB said the matches will be played between October 14 and November 15.
South Africa, ranked number one in Tests, will open the tour with a three-day warm-up match before the first Test in Abu Dhabi on October 14.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.
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