"Pakistani players need more support and less criticism" : Dav Whatmore

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Born in Colombo, Davenell (Dav) Whatmore represented Australia as a middle-order batsman in seven Test matches and a solitary ODI, making a top score of 77 against India in New Delhi. He was more successful at First-Class level, scoring over 6000 runs for Victoria in 108 matches at an average of almost 34. He retired from professional cricket in 1989 to pursue a career in coaching.

During his distinguished career as a coach, Whatmore coached Sri Lanka on two separate occasions, with his most memorable association with the Lankans coming during their incredible World Cup win in 1996. In addition, he won the County Championship with Lancashire in 1998 and 1999, as well as the Natwest Trophy in 1998. In 2003, he took on the challenge of coaching Bangladesh and was in charge when they won their first ever series by defeating Zimbabwe. He also oversaw the ODI victories over Australia, South Africa and the famous win over India in the 2007 World Cup. Between 2009 and 2012, Whatmore was also coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

In March 2012, the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed Whatmore as Head Coach of the Pakistan side, replacing interim coach Mohsin Khan. Whatmore's tenure in this position saw Pakistan winning the Asia Cup and they were also successful in ODI series wins away from home versus India and South Africa. Failure to win the Champions Trophy in England as well as disappointing performances in the Test match series against South Africa were low points of his tenure, but he departed with his head held high after a sensational series-leveling Test win against Sri Lanka in Sharjah where Pakistan chased down over 300 on the final day.

In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Whatmore discussed the highs and lows of his tenure as Pakistan coach, his relationship with Misbah-Ul-Haq, Mohammad Irfan's injury problems and his observations about standard of domestic cricket in Pakistan.


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PakPassion.net: How would you rate your tenure as Pakistan head coach out of 10? What could have gone better and what were you happy with?

Dav Whatmore: I don't think it is my position to rate myself. I have walked away knowing I have given 100% as Pakistan’s Head Coach. A few more wins under the belt, particularly in the Champions Trophy last year would have been nice though.

I was also particularly proud of how the Pakistani players responded and reacted to the international pressures, as it seems they carry their country's image on their shoulders. They are cricketers and simply want to play cricket to the best of their ability. A lot of people do not realise the pressure they are under on an international scale from all sides. We sometimes have to stop and remember they too are human beings.


PakPassion.net: What would you change in hindsight about your spell as head coach?

Dav Whatmore : It would be to positively change some old ways of thinking and I am not referring to players when I say that.


PakPassion.net: Which players do you feel really improved under your tenure as coach and why do you think they improved?

Dav Whatmore : I have never individualised, instead would prefer to see the team as a whole improve. During my two years, there have been some new players who came in and have settled comfortably into international cricket in a very short period of time. This has allowed them to perform early in their careers.


PakPassion.net: How was it working with Misbah-ul-Haq? What do you feel are his strengths and weaknesses?

Dav Whatmore : I really enjoyed working with Misbah. I have studied closely his approach both in leadership and as a player. It is not often you come across a quality individual who lives and breathes loyalty to his country and team mates.

His individual contribution in my time, has been outstanding in both Tests and One Day Internationals despite the continuing unwarranted and unfair criticism that he gets from both media and public.


PakPassion.net: Can you shed some light on the stories that you walked out of a selection meeting. What actually happened?

Dav Whatmore: All I will say at this moment in time is that it was not a pleasant meeting… but that is a story best kept for the autobiography!


PakPassion.net: What was the best/worst moment of your tenure as Head Coach of Pakistan?

Dav Whatmore: The heavy loss in the Champions Trophy in England and the second Test match in Zimbabwe still leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

Performances in South Africa were also not that good. However they are always a decent and strong opposition in their home conditions.

On the other hand beating South Africa in South Africa in the One Day International series was a historical victory. Winning the Asia Cup, the one day international series win in the West Indies… and who can forget the last Test match against Sri Lanka? That win will remain in my memory bank for many years to come!


PakPassion.net: Some critics say that you were too lenient when it came to the discipline of senior players. How would you respond to that criticism?

Dav Whatmore : I am unaware of any indiscipline with regard to senior players during my tenure. My style of management is to treat them as the grown men that they are.

Having said that, there were occasions which warranted my wrath in the privacy of our dressing room after certain losses.

I am well aware that many feel that I should have adopted the head master approach, but my philosophy has been a proven success over many years in the sub-continent.


PakPassion.net : What was the most frustrating aspect of being Head Coach of the Pakistan cricket team?

Dav Whatmore: I have noticed that there appears to be very little nationalism towards the national team. I always felt Karachi, Lahore and other cities were more interested in promoting players from their respective city to the detriment of a unified Pakistan Cricket Team.


PakPassion.net : Why is it that Pakistan is failing to produce world class batsmen and what can be done about this?

Dav Whatmore: I believe there is no lack of world class batsmen in Pakistan, but I always felt that players could rarely relax in terms of feeling secure in relation to selection. Therefore it is very difficult to consistently perform with this in the back of your mind.

Also, more encouragement and support from the right people would go a long way in solving this.


PakPassion.net: Do you feel that as a “foreigner” you were on a hiding to nothing as Pakistan coach, particularly due to the biased opinions of some former players?

Dav Whatmore : The short answer is no at the beginning, but it didn’t take long for the answer to be yes.

It was apparent to me and many others that there are certain lobbies who are anti-foreign coaches and wish to advance their own local people at my expense. Although it is not meant to be personal, I found this to be particularly nasty but understand that’s the way it works in Pakistan.


PakPassion.net : If you had been given a free reign and allowed to change three things about Pakistan cricket in order to improve it, what would they have been?

Dav Whatmore: Only 3?! In the subcontinent it takes generations to change cultural divides and mindsets.


PakPassion.net: What are your thoughts on the standard of Pakistan domestic cricket and what can be done to improve it's quality?

Dav Whatmore: It is beneficial to have the domestic setup as strong as possible. I found Department cricket far stronger than Regional cricket, but regions are ultimately responsible for the development of players across the country.

There has to be a happy medium to integrate both setups for the benefit of domestic cricket in the country.


PakPassion.net: Do you think that there is too much interference from those “outside” in terms of selection, coaching and trying to influence decision making in Pakistan cricket?

Dav Whatmore: You probably already know the answer to this question! There are obvious challenges in advancing a group of players to improve.


PakPassion.net: What is the typical psyche of the Pakistani cricketer? Where can improvements be made?

Dav Whatmore: Their psyche is “look after yourself because Nobody Else Will”! The Pakistani players need more support and less criticism.


PakPassion.net : There seems to be a lack of leaders amongst the current group of players. Did you spot any potential captains of the future?

Dav Whatmore: I think there are good leaders in the current group of players, but future leadership is in the hands of the selectors.


PakPassion.net : Mohammad Irfan’s injury problems continue. What should the selectors/captains/coaches do regarding his selection. In your opinion should he play in all formats or only some?

Dav Whatmore: Firstly, Irfan is a major asset to Pakistan Cricket and needs to be managed accordingly. I think he should be able to play all three formats but not on a continual basis.


PakPassion.net: Your thoughts on the appointment of Moin Khan as the Head Coach?

Dav Whatmore: Well he is the one that has been appointed and I wish him well.
 
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Brilliant stuff from Whatmore - totally agree with him on the bit about supporting our players
 
"My style of management is to treat them as the grown men that they are."



:dav :))

Their psyche is “look after yourself because Nobody Else Will”! The Pakistani players need more support and less criticism.

Good players take criticism in stride. They don't need someone to tell them it will all be okay. They need someone to tell them these are your mistakes, this is how you can fix them, and I have full confidence in your ability.

There is support, and there is babying. Our players have a tendency to be babied a little too much. This is why certain players start out with a bang, but then once they run into a wall, are told everything will be fine and are not criticized because they have been figured out.

There has to be a balance. Criticism is always taken negatively, when it is actually positive depending on how it is given.

For example: "Hey Umar, you're really playing a little recklessly and need to hone your skills and you can score big. See your stance in defence is flawed, do this. See the way you play spin has a little bit of an error, do this. You get nervous when you haven't hit a boundary, this is how you can get through it". This is constructive criticism, but we get is....

"Don't worry Umar, you're a good player, I believe in you, you'll be fine"
 
Good players take criticism in stride. They don't need someone to tell them it will all be okay. They need someone to tell them these are your mistakes, this is how you can fix them, and I have full confidence in your ability.

There is support, and there is babying. Our players have a tendency to be babied a little too much. This is why certain players start out with a bang, but then once they run into a wall, are told everything will be fine and are not criticized because they have been figured out.

There has to be a balance. Criticism is always taken negatively, when it is actually positive depending on how it is given.

For example: "Hey Umar, you're really playing a little recklessly and need to hone your skills and you can score big. See your stance in defence is flawed, do this. See the way you play spin has a little bit of an error, do this. You get nervous when you haven't hit a boundary, this is how you can get through it". This is constructive criticism, but we get is....

"Don't worry Umar, you're a good player, I believe in you, you'll be fine"

How do you know that's how Dav treated them?

Fans/Media don't help and can be as poisonous as any coach can be beneficial, players go from superstar to villain to superstar in the blink of an eye.
 
How do you know that's how Dav treated them?

Fans/Media don't help and can be as poisonous as any coach can be beneficial, players go from superstar to villain to superstar in the blink of an eye.

I'm not necessarily saying Dav is like that, but the way he does interviews, he seems passive. This is obviously a coaching style as well.

Misbah as well. He does have flaws, but the second anyone criticizes him for it, it is a knock on Misbah. Just as he has flaws, Umar does, Shehzad does, Sharjeel does, Hafeez does.

The more you try and give them constructive criticism while supporting them, the more our team will improve. Obviously some cannot be taught, but of late I love the improvement of Ahmad Shehzad, UA, and Hafeez.

Fawad went home and worked his butt off and it paid off.

You're correct, however it depends on the type and if it is warranted.

Is it warranted to kick Misbah off the team? No. Anyone who pushes that forward is a foolish person. Is it warranted to say he needs to pick singles early on in his innings and not simply go for the big shots? Yes. Of course it is. He is capable of it. Obviously situations dictate how one plays as well, but one can still constructively say this is how one can get better.

The more you are criticized in a constructive fashion, the more that you can grow.

It is from the play of certain players that it seems they are not being criticized rightly so for the same mistakes. Jamshed kept getting out on the short ball, in the exact same way. I won't pretend that I am there and coach with them, but clearly it wasn't worked on as much as we would like.

Obviously players need to be willing to listen as well, but if they are all continuously doing the same thing I would think it is more so the coaching staff not correctly identifying the issues, than the players themselves adamantly refusing to listen.
 
You're correct, however it depends on the type and if it is warranted.

Is it warranted to kick Misbah off the team? No. Anyone who pushes that forward is a foolish person. Is it warranted to say he needs to pick singles early on in his innings and not simply go for the big shots? Yes. Of course it is. He is capable of it. Obviously situations dictate how one plays as well, but one can still constructively say this is how one can get better.

In Misbah's situation you need to identify WHY he plays that way because as you said, he is capable of playing differently. As the rest of the team becomes more reliable he will start scoring quicker.

He is a perfect example of someone that does work hard and adapts himself to the match/team situation.

It is from the play of certain players that it seems they are not being criticized rightly so for the same mistakes. Jamshed kept getting out on the short ball, in the exact same way. I won't pretend that I am there and coach with them, but clearly it wasn't worked on as much as we would like.

International cricket is not the place to work on technical changes, that's what first class cricket is there for. You have more time to work on correcting and modifying your technique without the hectic international schedule getting in the way and no spotlight creating added pressure.

Obviously players need to be willing to listen as well, but if they are all continuously doing the same thing I would think it is more so the coaching staff not correctly identifying the issues, than the players themselves adamantly refusing to listen.

What about those youngsters that continuously do the same thing regardless of captains, coaches, teammates? :afridi
 
In Misbah's situation you need to identify WHY he plays that way because as you said, he is capable of playing differently. As the rest of the team becomes more reliable he will start scoring quicker.

He is a perfect example of someone that does work hard and adapts himself to the match/team situation.



International cricket is not the place to work on technical changes, that's what first class cricket is there for. You have more time to work on correcting and modifying your technique without the hectic international schedule getting in the way and no spotlight creating added pressure.



What about those youngsters that continuously do the same thing regardless of captains, coaches, teammates? :afridi

Hahaha well Afridi is, as you know, simply Afridi. I was actually going to mention him and say if he was sat down at a young age and been a bit more stern towards, who knows what he could be, then again, he could always have just been this way regardless of what you tell him.

I did say Misbah's play depends on the match situation, BUT it does not take away from the fact he still needs to pick singles more and not build the pressure as he does at times. He is not always in a dire situation, and even then he plays (for the most part) the same way. He does have exceptions to that, and I laude him for that, but just needs to get going a little quicker. I understand if you're 30-3 or 30-4 you have to make sure you stay, but at times he does come in 150-2 chasing and simply big down the RR.

Also, the point about Jamshed. Of course he should work on that. What are you saying? He gets out the same way and they just say nothing? It is an issue of how to play that ball, not changing ones stance. If you get out the exact same way, and coaching is not telling you what you need to do to fix it, then the coach is not the right coach for the job.
 
Also, the point about Jamshed. Of course he should work on that. What are you saying? He gets out the same way and they just say nothing? It is an issue of how to play that ball, not changing ones stance. If you get out the exact same way, and coaching is not telling you what you need to do to fix it, then the coach is not the right coach for the job.

If you keep getting out hooking, stop hooking. Don't need a coach to work that one out.
 
If you keep getting out hooking, stop hooking. Don't need a coach to work that one out.

It can also be hands on though. Get a bowler like Irfan, tell him to bowl the same length that he gets out on and analyse step by step his mistakes. That't what a good coach does. My basketball coach, my football coach they all sat with me for the things I was doing wrong, wouldn't baby me, would critically analyse, then give me a hands on example so I could work on it in practice, so at the real stage I know exactly what to do. That is coaching.
 
interesting that hes keeping his cards very close to his chest - i guess the horrible truth will come out once he retires, he cant be openly critical if hes stil looking for more coaching work.

that said, he seems to be pointing fingers at the administration, at least thats how i read the comments like: "It would be to positively change some old ways of thinking and I am not referring to players when I say that." and his comments on support - ive spoken to ex players who have said the same to me, that selection proceedures are so haphazard that a player soon becomes paranoid that he will lose his place.

ultimately, it seems all the signposts are pointing in the same direction again - the pcb and the board members.

time and time again: wasting of resources, stupid decisions, poorly thought out appointments of professionals, whimsical decisions, gross and astonishing unprofessionalism, interference, seniority culture, brazened self interest, constitutionally embedded lack of transparency and democratic chairman election - how can anyone be surprised that this immensely corrupt and unworkable culture and mandate seeps down to the players and playing administration?
 
It can also be hands on though. Get a bowler like Irfan, tell him to bowl the same length that he gets out on and analyse step by step his mistakes. That't what a good coach does. My basketball coach, my football coach they all sat with me for the things I was doing wrong, wouldn't baby me, would critically analyse, then give me a hands on example so I could work on it in practice, so at the real stage I know exactly what to do. That is coaching.

Yeah, and Dav has been coaching international cricketers for 20 years so do you think he's aware of this or not?

It's silly to assume that we know what goes on behind closed doors yet fans still rush to point the finger of blame at coaches, captains, selectors, dressing room cliques when we barely have a clue about the bigger picture.
 
Dav Whatmore: I have noticed that there appears to be very little nationalism towards the national team. I always felt Karachi, Lahore and other cities were more interested in promoting players from their respective city to the detriment of a unified Pakistan Cricket Team.

meh, when are we going to change ?
 
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Yeah, and Dav has been coaching international cricketers for 20 years so do you think he's aware of this or not?

It's silly to assume that we know what goes on behind closed doors yet fans still rush to point the finger of blame at coaches, captains, selectors, dressing room cliques when we barely have a clue about the bigger picture.

Again I didn't say they did or didn't, you said that they should just tell him, which is the wrong approach.
 
Excellent points by Whatmore, especially the one that is stated in this thread's title.

Pakistani fans & media - take note!
 
""I always felt Karachi, Lahore and other cities were more interested in promoting players from their respective city to the detriment of a unified Pakistan Cricket Team""...

That Hurts, and it's True
 
Good interview. Saj can you make him join PP like Fountain? That will be very nice.
 
@ steelo green: Just keeping Umar Akmal in mind as an example, he has been publicly criticized in the past by Misbah as well as Whatmore for not being responsible enough to cash in when he gets a good start. He was dropped from the team for a while as well. I'm sure if they can give him the 'you're good, you'll make it' line, and they occasionally put pressure on him through the media as well, there would have been coaching on the lines you've mentioned as well. I don't see it as babying players, I see it as backing talented individuals who are under tremendous pressure to perform.

On the other hand, would you say Umar has shown that sense of responsibility that is needed for the team to consistently do well? He hasn't. When you've got a support setup and when you've got the talent, and you still fall because of a lack of application, you can hardly blame the coach or captain in such a situation.

Publicly criticizing a player though is a very rarely used tool by captains and management. Imran used it with Wasim occasionally, Wasim in turn used it for Shoaib occasionally, but if its used excessively it can undermine the player's confidence and backfire as well.

I know a lot of people will rage on that he was just Miandad's nephew and nothing else, but I rated Faisal Iqbal as a wonderful player, especially of spin bowling. His innings against Warne was a testament of that talent and flair. But he was one who came under too much public criticism and subsequently, every time he walked out to bat he was a failure. He didn't get the necessary support around him and his talent was wasted. So yah, I think its a fine balance and the people managing the players and watching them before and after the games as well, when they are mere humans know that coaching and supporting is more than just getting the player to sit and have his mistakes be pointed out to him.
 
Once again a big thank you to Dav for his time.

I think he's right sometimes Pakistan fans and media go too far with the criticism.
 
"Pakistani players need more support and less criticism" : Dav Whatmore

It's time people (inc the media and fans) take Dav's advice.
 
Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup winning coach Dav Whatmore has been appointed as Nepal cricket team's head coach on Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday, the Nepal Cricket Association confirmed that Whatmore will take charge of the season, with effect from January 1, next year.
 
Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup winning coach Dav Whatmore has been appointed as Nepal cricket team's head coach on Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday, the Nepal Cricket Association confirmed that Whatmore will take charge of the season, with effect from January 1, next year.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) is astound by the sudden resignation of our Coach, Dav Whatmore (<a href="https://twitter.com/dfwhatmore?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dfwhatmore</a>)<br><br>He has resigned to be effective immediately after the Oman tour citing his personal reasons. He had signed a one year contract with CAN at the beginning of the year. <a href="https://t.co/vxB2qBpKjB">pic.twitter.com/vxB2qBpKjB</a></p>— CAN (@CricketNep) <a href="https://twitter.com/CricketNep/status/1431271702596513797?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 27, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
Dav Whatmore joins Baroda(Ranji team in India) as Head Coach

Whatmore has coached various teams in the Indian domestic circuit, including Kerala
Former Australian cricketer and World Cup-winning coach Dav Whatmore has joined the Baroda team as its head coach for the upcoming domestic season.

The development was confirmed to PTI by Baroda Cricket Association secretary Ajit Lele on Friday.

"He (Whatmore) joined the day before yesterday as the head coach and he will guide other coaches also, other age groups," Lele said.

The 67-year-old Whatmore has got years of experience in top-flight cricket and was coach of the Sri Lankan team that won the World Cup in 1996.

He then went on to coach various teams and in the Indian domestic circuit, he has had Kerala under his tutelage.


His last assignment was with Nepal.

The BCCI has already announced the domestic schedule for the 2021-22 season and this time the Ranji Trophy will also be played after it had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last season.

https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/dav-whatmore-joins-baroda-as-head-coach/article36651045.ece
 
Unverified rumours his salary will be 1 Cr INR. Will become most expensive Domestic coach in India if true.
 
I remember Sir Intikhab Alam also coached Punjab's Ranji Team few years ago. :inti

Coincidentally he was also born in Hoshiarpur. :yuvi
 
He’s a coach who won limited overs crickets’ greatest trophy (some would argue it’s the greatest in all international cricket) at the age of 42, with a young and underestimated team.

For those reasons I sometimes get the feeling that Whatmore could have done a lot better with his career. Not that he’s done badly at all, of course. But coach of India, UK, Australia, NZ would in a way have been appropriate for what he accomplished.

Does anyone else feel the same way?
 
When Pakistan will have foreign coaches in 6 provincial teams then that would be the day Pakistan will be a competitive cricket Board.
 
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