Whatmore: Magician or mistake?
With the appointment of Dav Whatmore as coach of the national team, several former Pakistan players and fans have voiced the opinion that removal of Mohsin Khan from that position was an uncalled for action, considering the excellent run of results the side had enjoyed under him, notwithstanding the recent drubbing at the hands of England in the limited-overs series.
However, an overview of Pakistan’s performance over the last year-and-a-half indicates that the good results that they enjoyed predate Mohsin’s appointment as interim coach. That’s why it would be unfair to the likes of former coach Waqar Younis — under whom Pakistan’s revival as a major cricketing force started — when all the credit for the team’s good showing is accorded to Mohsin. This is not to belittle the former opener’s contributions but to point out that it was the collective effort of Waqar, Mohsin and senior players like captain Misbahul Haq, Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi that put the side on the path to success.
Furthermore, those critical of Whatmore’s appointment will do well to consider his credentials as coach. The former Australia player has a proven track-record with a World Cup win under his belt during his stint as Sri Lanka coach. In addition, during his time with Bangladesh, he was able to transform a mediocre team that rarely won, to one that could surprise the best in the world on its day.
Every formula for success has its sell-by date. The dream run that Pakistan enjoyed over the last year or so appears to be coming to a close if one considers the disappointing performances in the limited-overs matches against England. The appointment of Whatmore as coach, therefore, is perfectly timed. He now has the opportunity to infuse much-needed energy into an outfit that seemed surprisingly jaded and lacklustre against England. With his no-nonsense approach to team management and his uncanny eye for spotting new talent, Pakistan can look forward to another period of success. It is only hoped that Whatmore is given enough time and leeway in running the team the way he wants and a potential masterstroke by the Pakistan Cricket Board in appointing him, does not go to waste.
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