Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore appears unfazed by media reports suggesting that he will be removed instantly after his two-year contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expires.
Whatmore has coached Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the past with success, but his tenure as Pakistan’s coach that began in March 2012 has seen its share of highs and lows.
Although the team instantly won the Asia Cup after he took over and defeated India on their home soil in the much-hyped One-Day International series, Pakistan’s miserable performance on the South Africa tour and the Champions Trophy drew heavy flak for the seasoned coach.
With seven months remaining until the expiry of Whatmore’s contract, reports have already started makiing rounds that the coach will not get an extension, while simultaneously hinting at a change in guard before the Asia Cup and ICC World Twenty20 Championships.
“It’s been funny reading such reports at this stage,” the Pakistan coach told The Express Tribune, adding that he was hardly bothered about his uncertain fate.
“I’ve been working on contract since the last 18 years, so it’s nothing new for me. All I am looking forward to are the tasks that require my expertise until I remain the official coach — the Zimbabwe tour and the home series against South Africa and Sri Lanka in the UAE.
“I want to give my best until I remain Pakistan’s coach so I can sleep easy.”
Asked if he was willing to get an extension in his contract, he replied, “Anything, about my contract will be discussed with the PCB when the time comes.”
Coach warns against complacency in Zimbabwe
Speaking about the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, the 59-year-old stressed that his side must give its best shot against the opposition.
“We can’t afford to be complacent,” said Whatmore. “There is a difference between the rankings of Pakistan and Zimbabwe; any untoward result will have a negative and embarrassing impact on our rankings.”
Whatmore, with whom Pakistan have not won a single Test to date, hoped for a reversal in fortunes for the longer version in the coming season where Pakistan will play three Test series.
“It’s very important to win in this format. The ICC Test Championship is starting and it has become even important to do well in Tests.”
‘More contribution from Hafeez needed’
Whatmore said he was hoping senior player Mohammad Hafeez would return to his winning form soon.
“He contributed a lot last year but has been struggling since the past six months. He’s definitely a core part of the team and we would like to witness more of a contribution from him.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s training camp for the tour of Zimbabwe will begin today in Lahore. The camp will continue till August 19 when the team will depart for the African nation.
“The camp will be held in two sessions while lectures have also been planned during the camp,” said a team official.
However, full attendance was not expected on the opening day as several players will be busy in an exhibition match in Karachi on account of the Independence Day.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2013.
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