Srinagar: Former Australian cricketer and World Cup-winning coach with Sri Lanka, Dav Whatmore who arrived in Kashmir on Sunday hailed the emergence of J&K pace sensation Umran Malik.
Whatmore who has coached teams like Srilanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh arrived in Srinagar on Doon International School Srinagar's invitation to inaugurate Wilmot Foundation Block on the school premises.
During his three day visit, the famed cricketer turned coach would be holding interaction sessions with the young cricketers in the School's running cricket academy.
On Sunday upon his arrival, Whatmore interacted with the media in a press conference and termed his visit to Kashmir refreshing as he had previously visited Kashmir in 1979 as part of the Australia Cricket team match against the North Zone side at Sheri Kashmir Cricket Stadium Srinagar.
On the occasion, Dav Whatmore who lead Sri Lanka to the World Cup trophy in 1996, termed the emergence of Umran Malik as the breath of fresh air for the World of pace bowling.
"Umran Malik is a breath of fresh air for the speed and pace bowling. He has been wonderful to the point that he was retained by his Indian Premier League franchise which is a big thing. I am sure there are a lot of youngsters in this region who would like to emulate Umran Malik," Whatmore said while replying to a question about Malik.
On the occasion, the Australian cricketer turned coach also congratulated Umran for getting selected for Team India.
"Let’s hope he does well. Congratulations to him for being selected in the Indian squad. We all hope that he goes from strength to strength," He said.
Whatmore said that it is good to see a new side in IPL reaching finals in its first season clashing with the winners of the first-ever IPL.
"I am not sure which way to go. There are good reasons for both to win the IPL. A new side Gujarat Titans is clashing with the champions of IPL season one Rajasthan Royals. Maybe later in the day, I will have some leaning, but both are very very good teams,” he said.
Whatmore was part of the Australian squad which played a match in Srinagar in 1979, against the North Zone side.
He expressed hope that his second visit to the valley would not be his last.
"I played a match here in 1979 when Australia toured India and there was a match in Srinagar. I remember that was the first game on the tour, so that was my first experience of Srinagar. That was wonderful. This is my second visit here and I hope it is not last," Whatmore.
The former cricketer in that match had scores of 1 and 33 in two innings with the match-turning out as a draw.
Whatmore is a Sri Lanka born Australian cricket coach and former cricketer. A right-handed batsman, Whatmore played seven Test matches for Australia in 1979, and one One Day International in 1980. At the first-class level, he scored over 6,000 runs for Victoria.
Later Whatmore interacted with the students and parents on the Doon International School Srinagar premises. He will be interacting with budding cricketers on Monday.