Pakistan cricket chief backs under-fire Whatmore
KARACHI (AFP) –
Pakistan’s cricket chief threw his weight behind under-fire coach Dav Whatmore on Tuesday, after the national team’s 3-0 Test whitewash in South Africa, saying he was doing a good job.
Whatmore, appointed Pakistan coach a year ago, came in for severe criticism from former captains Wasim Akram, Moin Khan and Rashid Latif who called for the former Australian batsman to be sacked.
Appointed on a two-year contract, Whatmore guided Pakistan to the Asia Cup title and a one-day series win over arch-rivals India but lost consecutive Test series in Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf vowed there will be no hasty decisions on Whatmore’s future.
“Whatmore is under contract with the PCB and is performing well,” Ashraf told AFP. “There is a committee which evaluates each person under contract and submits its report.
“We take decisions only on merit and performance of the individuals.”
Pakistan has a history of sacking coaches, showing the door to their last foreign coach Geoff Lawson after only a year in the job in 2008.
Whatmore’s own appointment in March last year came as a surprise after his predecessor Mohsin Khan was widely acclaimed for bringing stability to the team and leading them to a 3-0 Test whitewash over England.
But the latest Test capitulation prompted Khan to lash out at Whatmore, who masterminded Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph, calling him over-rated and saying he was “fighting for survival”.
Pakistan bounced back with a convincing win in Sunday’s Twenty20 match and a PCB official speaking on condition of anonymity said Whatmore should not be judged on Tests alone.
“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,” the official said.
Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, who blitzed a match-winning 86 on Sunday as the tourists hammered South Africa by 95 runs in the second T20, also backed Whatmore.
“It (criticism of Whatmore) was unfair,” Hafeez said in his post-match comments.
“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,” he said.
Pakistan now play a five-match one-day series against South Africa, starting in Bloemfontein on Sunday.