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I declined Sri Lanka job twice: Woolmer

Pakistan coach said he had wanted time off cricket the first time and was not satisfied at the way the offer came about the second time round.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 21:12 IST

Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer disclosedon Monday that he had twice turned down an offer to coach the Sri Lankan cricket team.

The former South Africa coach said he had wanted time off from the game the first time and was not satisfied at the way the offer came about the second time round.

"The first time I was approached was soon after the 1999 World Cup when my contract with South Africa was over, but I wanted some time out from cricket and didn't quite consider the offer," Woolmer said.

The 57-year-old, who is here with the Pakistan team that is touring for two Tests and three one-dayers, said he was interested in the assignment in 2003 but the officials did not have proper discussions with him.

"On the second instance the circumstances weren't right and therefore I declined," the former England player said. "They were making offers of money without trying to sit down with me for a chat."

Although Woolmer's name was rumoured in cricket circles to replace Dav Whatmore three years ago, it was believed at the time that violence in the country had made him decline the offer.

But Woolmer said security was never a concern. "That's far from the truth. I love this place and my wife loves this place. It didn't worry me one bit. If I am going to die while coaching cricket, then so be it," he said.

Sri Lanka were desperately searching for someone to replace Whatmore after the last World Cup and had an interim coach in former skipper Duleep Mendis before Australian John Dyson was given the job.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 21:12 IST