Pakistan news December 23, 2011

PCB to meet with Whatmore in January

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited Dav Whatmore to Pakistan to discuss the terms of becoming their next head coach, a board official has said. Whatmore, along with Julian Fountain, who is tipped to be the new fielding coach, will arrive in Pakistan in the second week of January next year.

We are in discussions with [Dev] Whatmore," Subhan Ahmed, the PCB's chief operating officer told ESPNcricinfo. "In fact, we have called him next month to negotiate and hope to reach a final agreement with him."

Whatmore is the current head coach of the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, and is a former coach of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He has been in talks with the PCB's search committee for a few months but both sides have failed to reach an agreement so far. The committee is believed to favour hiring home-grown batting and bowling coaches, given Pakistan's traditional strength in these disciplines, but is keen on having Whatmore and Fountain be the head coach and fielding coach respectively.

One sticking point with Whatmore is that his contract with Knight Riders runs until December 2012, and his desire to wait until after IPL 2012 ends in May is the main reason the PCB has delayed appointing a full-time coaching staff. Earlier this month, Mohsin Khan was named interim coach for the England series.

Fountain has worked with the PCB before in 2001 and 2006 under former Pakistan coaches Richard Pybus and Bob Woolmer. He was the specialist fielding coach for Bangladesh from August 2010 until the end of the 2011 World Cup and has previously worked with the England and West Indies teams as well. If he signs a deal with the board, Fountain could join the squad for the England series.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent