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Pakistan shortlist 3 Aussie coaches

cricket Updated: Jun 18, 2007 03:11 IST

AFP
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Pakistan shortlisted three Australian candidates on Sunday and interviewed one of them in the final phase of selecting a successor to coach Bob Woolmer, who died three months ago.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf said Richard Done was interviewed on Sunday while two Dav Whatmore and Geoff Lawson would be interviewed during the coming week.

"Done has been interviewed and in the final phase Whatmore and Lawson will be interviewed before making the final announcement shortly," Ashraf told reporters.

Former Bangladesh and Sri Lanka coach Whatmore is the main contender for Pakistan coach after the post was advertised following Woolmer's death in Jamaica in March during the World Cup.

Lawson was due to arrive in Pakistan for interview in the next couple of days, said Ashraf, who praised the Australian system for providing good coaches.

Done, who succeeded Woolmer as the International Cricket Council high peformance manager in 2004, had shown interest in the job.

"Done has worked with Rodney Marsh in he highly praised Autralian cricket academy," said Ashraf.

Except for England and South Africa, all 10 Test-playing countries have had Australian coaches in the past decade.

Sri Lanka recently appointed Trevor Bayllis as a replacement for Tom Mooy, also an Australian, who left the job after the World Cup while India have yet to find a replacement for their Australian coach Greg Chappell.

Chappell refused to extend his contract after India's first-round exit from the World Cup.

Lawson, who initially showed little iterest in the Pakistan post, said he changed his mind after last week's announcement by Jamaican police that Woolmer died of natural causes and was not murdered, as initially announce.

"It's a significant challenge to coach Pakistan" Lawson told reporters in Australia on Friday "They're an underachievng team with plenty of talent. I'm flattered I've even been invited I suppose.

"I certainly haven't been chasing it. At short notice they asked me to come to Islamabad for an interview," said Lawson, who admitted the findings on Woolmer's case led him to change his mind.

"My wife would not have allowed me to go to Pakistan had it been a murder," Lawson said.

Another Austalian Steve Rixon, a former New Zealand coach, turned down the job, saying he had already made up his mind when the PCB approached him.

The 51-year-old Done, who took 21 wickets in 10 first-class matches between 1978 and 1979 and 1985-1986, visited Pakistan in 2001 as an Australian Cricket Academy senior coach and conducted a series of seminars on coaching.

A three-member committee comprising former wicket-keeper Imtiaz Ahmed, former paceman Zakir Khan, also PCB director of operations, and former opener Mudassar Nazar shortlisted the candidates and will also interview them besides Ashraf.