ODI ranking improvement is major job, says coach Whatmore


Nepal national cricket team head coach Dav Whatmore said he would focus on improving the One Day International ranking and help overall cricket in his tenure.

Meeting the sports journalists for the first time since taking over the team earlier this month, the Sri Lanka-born Australian said he accepted the challenging job and was happy to get the opportunity to work for Nepali cricket.

“I will try to improve cricket here in Nepal and it is very important for a country to improve ranking,” said Whatmore, the head coach of Sri Lanka when they won the World Cup in 1996. “I am thankful to the CAN board for having confidence on me and I am very happy to be here and accept the challenge,” said Whatmore. “This is not an easy position and it is important for a country to improve ranking. It is a challenging job and that was the motivational factor for me to come to Nepal,” he said, adding that he would get full support from the board.

Whatmore said reaching the World Cup was very difficult.

“Lots of countries are doing exactly what we are trying to do and it is a big challenge for us,” said Whatmore.

“But unless we dream big and aspire to reach the high stage, it’s never going to happen.” Whatmore said the Nepali team was a mixture of senior and junior players.

“Senior players have experience and age is not a problem, form of the players in main thing,” he said. “I will be more than happy to share what I have in my head to the players and there are certain principles to apply in Nepali cricket.”

The former coach of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, Whatmore is the third Sri Lanka-born cricketer to look after Nepal national team after Roy Luke Dias and Pubudu Dassanayake.

The Nepal national team was without a head coach since Indian Umesh Patwal left the job in 2018 and Cricket Association of Nepal appointed Whatmore on December 17 last year.

Whatmore moved to Australia in 1962 and played seven Test matches and one ODI during 1979-80. He also coached Singapore national team, Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and Kerala Cricket Association team in India’s Ranji Trophy.

CAN Secretary Ashok Nath Pyakuryal said Nepali cricket was looking forward to use the expertise of Whatmore in three areas — ODI ranking, grassroots and women’s cricket. “We have asked Whatmore to focus on the improvement in ODI ranking of men’s national team and help in grassroots cricket along with U-19 and women’s national team,” said Pyakuryal. “We hope to grow with the help of a great coach,” he added.