IPL news January 1, 2012

Whatmore steps down as Knight Riders' coach

Dav Whatmore has resigned as head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL franchise. Whatmore is the favourite to become the next coach of Pakistan, and cited his inability to discharge his duties with the Knight Riders as he pursues an international role.

The PCB has invited Whatmore to Pakistan in the second week of January to discuss his appointment, and the Knight Riders expressed their support of his desire to coach a national team again. Whatmore is a former coach of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"We have been most supportive of Dav's keen interest in pursuing an international coaching role and wish him the very best," Venky Mysore, the chief executive of the Knight Riders, said. "His decision to resign is to ensure that Kolkata Knight Riders are able to plan for the transition and we thank him for that. We also thank him for all his contributions over the past two years"

Whatmore 's tenure with the Knight Riders lasted two seasons. In his first year, they finished sixth out of eight teams but a completely revamped side under captain Gautam Gambhir reached the knockouts in 2011 before losing to the Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator.

"The team has progressed in the right direction and as always, I wish the team continued success and look forward to them progressing to silverware in 2012," Whatmore said in a statement. Many thanks to those who have supported and believed in me."

The Knight Riders have begun a search for a new head coach and would like to have a replacement named before the IPL player auction on February 4. "The head coach is a very important role," Venky Mysore, the franchise's chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "It is important that the coach has ownership of things."

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo