Vol. 5 Num 310 Sun. April 10, 2005  

Whatmore going nowhere

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) disclosed yesterday that they were very close to finalising another two-year contract with coach Dav Whatmore.

"We are very close to signing another two-year contract. We have discussed about the renewal of the contract and in principle both sides (BCB and Whatmore) agreed the terms and conditions of the draft proposal," said Mahbub Anam, BCB advisor and chairman of the cricket operations committee, at a press conference Saturday.

The BCB announcement came three days after BBC Sport ran a story linking Whatmore to becoming India's next coach.

But the 50-year-old Australian, whose contract with the BCB expires at the end of this month, apparently dismissed a move despite adopting a go-slow strategy regarding the renewal of his contract till the next World Cup in 2007.

"We will sign it as soon as possible and of course by this month," said Mahbub.

Mahbub however was reluctant to explain why the signing was delayed even if everything was finalised.

"I can only say that he (Whatmore) is a very honourable person that's why there is no scope of bargaining about anything," he added.

But many feel it was certainly the financial aspects rather than anything else delaying the renewal of the contract.

"It is very natural that after ending a tenure you have to increase the money," said Mahbub.

But the bearded BCB official said that it has nothing to do with the speculation of a financial package offered by someone else.

The Board is keen to retain Whatmore with the demanding England assignment starting next month.

Replying to a question, Mahbub said that they are already searching for a replacement of Under-19 coach Richard McInnes, who resigned this month and was set join the Commonwealth Cricket Academy in Brisbane.

"It is very natural in the professional world that one should try to get a better job. We are already trying to find a replacement," he added.

IT'S REALLY HOT: National cricketers take a break after an energy-sapping training session at the Army Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO: STAR