Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ford runs over Whatmore's coach

By John Cheeran
Twist in the Dav Whatmore tail has left many in Indian cricket perplexed.
Once The Times of India frontpaged the story a few weeks ago that the Australian has been all but appointed as the new coach for the Indian team, such a twist was unforeseen.
But that is Indian cricket.
Since I believe no coach can overhaul the Indian cricket in a short span, I had not taken much interest in the coach business. But I must say that skipper Rahul Dravid did the right thing in looking beyond Whatmore for guidance to the team’s fortunes.
Whatmore’s biggest credit in the recent times has been the World Cup coup he pulled off for Bangladesh against India in the Caribbean. That led to talks such as how the man has worked wonders with sub continental teams – Sri Lanka’s World Cup triumph in 1996 and now Bangladesh’s entry into Super Eight, in the process pushing India into the abyss.
For Indian cricketers who were finessed by Whatmore in the Caribbean, the presence of the former Bangladesh coach would have been a constant reminder of their shame.
None of them including Dravid and Virender Sehwag would have welcomed such irritating thoughts as they strive to rebuild.
That must be the singular reason that scuppered Whatmore’s chances. Sunil Gavaskar's dislike for Whatmore is only adds the detail.
It has been reported that players themselves were scouting for a suitable coach in a much a shrunken field.
None of the team members welcomed the idea of having a former Indian cricketer as coach.
Jokers such as Madan Lal, Mohinder Amanath and Chetan Chauhan were dragged into the race by Kapil Dev, with the former Indian captain vigorously arguing for an Indian coach.
It seems former South African coach Graham Ford, who is now handling English County Kent, is Dravid’s preferred choice and the other candidate, propped up by Gavaskar, is former England skipper and off-spinner John Emburey.
Ford was South Africa’s coach between 1991 and 2001 when South Africa won nine of their 11 Tests and one-day series, including a historic Test series win in India.
It is also to be remembered that the match-fixing controversy and Hansie Cronje affair happened during those days. And Emburey’s coaching stints with Northamptonshire and Middlesex did not yield desired results.
That strengthens Ford’s case to become the Team India coach. But none is certain after what they did to Whatmore.

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