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November 10, 2013
The PCB will not renew Pakistan head coach Dav Whatmore's contract, when it expires ahead of the Asia Cup in late February 2014. The PCB said in a release that Whatmore informed the board earlier this month that he would not be seeking an extension in the job due to personal and family reasons. His last assignment with Pakistan will be the upcoming Sri Lanka series in the UAE, between December 2013 and January 2014.
The release said the two parties had "mutually agreed to conclude the contract on February 28, 2014". "Everyone at the PCB wishes Mr Whatmore the very best at a personal level and in the world of cricket in the future," the statement said.*
ESPNcricinfo understands that PCB had been mulling releasing Whatmore after the Champions Trophy in June, in which Pakistan didn't win a match, but held back on such a move to avoid the compensation (three months' salary) they would have had to pay him if they terminated the contract.
"We are not against a foreign coach," PCB Interim Management Committee head, Najam Sethi, recently said in the UAE. "Our problem is, with foreign coaches our players are not able to communicate freely. The players are not that well educated when it comes to English. So there is a lot of problem in communicating with each other and they don't understand fully."
Whatmore was appointed head coach in March 2012 and Pakistan have failed to win a Test series under him, and have only won two out of the 10 matches they've played so far. After feedback from various players in the team, it is learnt, the PCB is not satisfied. A top PCB official said that some players are not quite comfortable around Whatmore and the suggestion is to bring in a local coach.
Sethi told Gulf News: "I personally think the coach has done a decent job but his contract expires in February, so we have to seriously look at it. In fact, I think Whatmore himself will be looking at it. I won't deny that there is tremendous pressure to appoint a home-bred coach."
Recently, spinner Saeed Ajmal had said on television that there was no difference between Whatmore and a local coach, and that language was proving to be a barrier. "There is no difference, just that we are paying more to him, otherwise there is no difference," Ajmal said. "Dav is a foreign coach, he doesn't know our language much, but he is a coach and has done coaching for various countries and has helped other teams win, he is not that bad. We had our coaches, we have our language."
Whatmore, 59, while talking to ESPNcricinfo in September, confirmed that there would have to be a mutual understanding between him and the PCB if his contract is to be renewed. "When you are about to conclude your contract, these questions do emerge," Whatmore said. "But the renewal depends on mutual willingness. I know what I do is done with the best of intentions and at the end of the day I can sleep straight, comfortably."
*04.25GMT, November 13: This article was updated after the PCB sent out a statement.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Umar Farooq
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