HARARE – Dav Whatmore is scheduled to arrive in Harare this morning to begin his tenure as the new Zimbabwe cricket coach just six weeks before the start of the World Cup.
The former Australia Test player takes over from Stephen Mangongo, who was dismissed two weeks ago following a disastrous tour to Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe lost the Test series 3-0 before suffering another 5-0 defeat in One Day International series which left the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) bosses under a lot of public pressure.
ZC interim board chairman Wilson Manase confirmed Whatmore’s appointment and said the experienced gaffer will get down to business on Tuesday.
“Whatmore takes over as the national team head coach. He arrives here on Sunday and will have some closed door meetings on Monday to iron out a few outstanding issues,” Manase told the Daily News on Sunday.
“He should be ready to begin his job as early as Tuesday. His first port of call will be the World Cup and we will negotiate a longer deal after the showcase.
“Dav brings on board a lot of experience and besides his coaching track record, he also runs the Dav Whatmore Cricket Academy based in Dubai.
“As part of the deal, we will have some of our players being exposed to the high performance centre which caters for all age groups from the Under-13 going upwards.”
Born Davenell Frederick Whatmore in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in March 1954, he emigrated to Australia as a child and later represented the Aussies in seven Test matches and one One Day International.
The 60-year-old new Zimbabwe coach also played 108 first class cricket matches scoring 10 centuries and 35 half tons.
Whatmore’s majot achievement was guiding Sri Lanka to winning the 1996 World Cup with a victory over Australia in the final.
He moved on to coach Bangladesh between 2003 and 2007. During this period he transformed the Tigers into a formidable side as they recorded some memorable victories especially on home soil.
In the last two years, Whatmore was in charge of Pakistan before he decided not to renew his contract.
Dave Houghton, first Zimbabwe Test captain was earmarked to take over the batting coach post left vacant after Grant Flower’s departure to Pakistan.
He however, is said to be committed to his English County Cricket side.
“We are looking to improve the level of cricket on the ground so that we remain relevant in internationalcricket and going forward we would like to make sure that we give more financial resources to the field and development,” said Manase.
“For us administrators, we must be abreast with changes on the global trend and this is why there has been major shake-up in the administration side of things.
“This is a national game and I have deliberated opened the doors to those who genuinely want to assist.
“We welcome everyone who is interested in lifting our game to a higher level be there past or present players or administrators for as long as they are not coming to undermine the game.”