KARACHI: New Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has is looking forward to the challenge of taking charge of a third Asian team and is confident the side can improve their standing in world cricket.
The Australian agreed on a two-year deal last week and departed for Dhaka on Thursday to lead Pakistan on his first assignment with the team, the four-nation Asia Cup which starts on Sunday and includes India, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.
"I see this tournament as the first of many challenges ahead of us. The other teams are good one-day sides and strong competitors," he told reporters at the airport.
Prior to his Pakistan posting, Whatmore led Sri Lanka to victory at the 1996 50-overs World Cup and had a stint at the helm of Bangladesh.
Whatmore, who was capped seven times by Australia as a player, said he did not need reminding that Pakistan would face arch rivals India at the Asia Cup but was also aware of the other fixtures at the event and not just the March 18 showdown.
"It is good for the sport when there is so much interest revolving around a match but as a team, we have to focus on all the matches not just one game," he said.
Along with Whatmore, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) brought in Englishman Julian Fountain as fielding coach to help improve Pakistan's performances following one-day international and Twenty20 series defeats to England last month.
Whatmore said Pakistan had an abundance of talent, as displayed in the 3-0 test series win over England prior to the one-dayers, and he was looking forward to studying the players up close.
"It is an exciting prospect for me as a coach looking at the future but right now the immediate task is to ensure Pakistan do well in this event," he added. AGENCIES