Bangla players still love Whatmore despite ‘India’ remarks

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 7, 2007 (AFP) – Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar insisted on Friday that coach Dave Whatmore’s interest in taking charge of the India team has not been a distraction at the World Cup.

Whatmore, who has been instrumental in guiding Bangladesh to the Super Eights for the first time, has declared his interest in replacing Greg Chappell, who quit as India coach after their shock exit in the Caribbean.

But Whatmore, also an Australian like Chappell, has upset the Bangladesh Cricket Board with his public declaration of interest in the India job and officials in Dhaka have convened an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.

Bashar, whose team face South Africa on Saturday, said Whatmore has kept his thoughts on his future plans to himself.

“He (Whatmore) has been working very hard with us, and has given no indication that he’s not enjoying himself here,” said Bashar of the coach whose contract expires next month.

“I don’t want to talk too much about his thoughts. It’s purely for him to decide. But our performance shows what kind of hard work he has put in,” said Bahsar whose team defeated India by five wickets to progress to the Super Eights.

In the second round