SK Flashback: Recalling Dav Whatmore's greatest feats as a coach on his birthday
Dav Whatmore came to the limelight after helping Sri Lanka win the World Cup in 1996.
Dav Whatmore, who celebrates his birthday today, is one of cricket’s most influential coaches blessed with the ability to completely transform the fortunes of a side. Born and brought up in Ceylon, he played Test cricket for Australia, but unearthed his true capabilities in the country of his birth.
Since then, teams from across the world have wanted to acquire Whatmore’s inputs and man management talent. And he didn’t disappoint, leaving a mark in all the countries that he coached.
Whatmore spent the first few years of his life in Sri Lanka before emigrating to Australia with his family when he was eight. His first-class debut for Victoria came in 1975, and it was in 1979-80 when he made his international debut. But, in seven Tests and a solitary ODI, he wasn’t able to make a big impression.
He retired from cricket in 1988-89, perhaps when he realised what his true calling was. Since then, Whatmore has come to be known as one of the topmost coaches in cricket’s chronicles. On his birthday, let us recall his top 5 coaching accolades.
#1 Sri Lanka World Cup 1996
Starting as a domestic and little-known cricketer in Victoria, Australia, Whatmore found his true caller in Sri Lanka – his country of birth. Before Whatmore took over as Sri Lanka’s coach, the team wasn’t fancied much in the international scenario. In tandem with the then-skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, the duo changed the face of Sri Lankan cricket, turning it into a formidable powerhouse in ODIs.
The team took the world by storm when in 1996 when it won the World Cup. Openers Romesh Kaluwitharana and Sanath Jayasuriya were given the license to kill in the finals. The team always preferred to chase no matter what the situation. Those tactics, in which the coach played a major role, changed the way ODIs were played.