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Avoid Whatmore, says Ranatunga

The former Sri Lankan captain suggests Pakistani players and team management not to have the Aussie as the new coach.

cricket Updated: Jul 09, 2007 18:23 IST

Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has advised Pakistani players and team management not to have Australian Dav Whatmore as their new coach, sources said.

Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka to 1996 World Cup glory with Whatmore as the coach, is learnt to have given a "run-down" on the Australian when he had a chance meeting with manager-cum-coach Talat Ali in Scotland where the team had recently gone to play two one-day games, according to reliable sources in the Pakistan team.

"Ranatunga was asked for his opinion about Whatmore as he has worked for a number of years in the Sri Lankan team," one source said.

"Ranatunga during his talks with Talat and some senior players gave them a run down on Whatmore and eventually his advice was to avoid him," he added.

"Ranatunga did admit that Whatmore was coach when Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup but said the players had a big credit in this as well."

When Whatmore was Sri Lankan coach he had problems with Ranatunga with both speaking out against each other publicly.

Whatmore is one of the three Australians shortlisted by the Pakistan Cricket Board for appointment as the new coach and indications have been that Whatmore and not compatriots Geoff Lawson and Richard Done might get the job because of his experience with working with Asian teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Sources also said Talat had already given his backing for Lawson when asked for his opinion about the new coach by the PCB.

"Talat has advised the Board to go for Lawson with whom he is very impressed. In the team as well they are more votes for Lawson and Done than for Whatmore because some players are wary of Whatmore's background and man management skills."

PCB Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan when contacted said that no final decision had been taken on the new coach.

"We are still studying the available options to us and a final decision would be made when the Ad-Hoc committee meets on July 15 or 16," he said.