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Itís home time for all
28 May, 2007
As the Bangladesh and Indian cricketers began to return home after a gruelling series during one of the hottest times in the country, another man was set to depart without knowing where he would work in near future.
Bangladesh's outgoing coach Dav Whatmore, who leaves Dhaka on Friday to end his four-year tenure, received a farewell from his Tigers as both teams left their hotel on Monday.
The triumphant Indians, who won the one-day series 2-0 and the Tests 1-0, left just after sunrise to catch a Kolkata-bound flight after the series deciding second and final Test in Dhaka ended a couple of days ahead of schedule.
Rahul Dravid's side were due to leave the capital tomorrow but gladly accepted a change of schedule to have the chance to spend extra two days with their families before a long tour of England.
The Tigers, who have endured a long season, will get hardly a week's break before regrouping for a tough trip to Sri Lanka, where they play three Tests and as many one-day internationals in June-July.
The camp, however, will begin under a new coach as Whatmore's job with Bangladesh has finally ended. The Sri Lanka-born Australian coach's contract ended after the World Cup but he accepted a short renewal for the home series against India, his probable future.
In an emotional gathering of cricketers Whatmore, their mentor for the past four years, and Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar both spoke at the hotel.
"We had decided earlier that we would give him an unofficial farewell. It was just s simple gathering and the players, with their bags packed, did not want to miss the chance to bid him goodbye," told Bashar.
"With his departure, itís the end of an era for our cricket. Under his guidance we have developed as a unit and he has had many contributions for our improvement.
"He is definitely a big name in world cricket and I feel we've been lucky to be with him for this long," he added.
Whatmore, who leaves Dhaka on Friday, will carry a dinner set with him as memento of the Tigers.
"Whatmore also told us that he has had nice times with us. He reminded us that we have had ups and downs during the period but still, there is scope of more improvement," said Bashar.
"Four years is a long time and I have nice memories. Wherever I go, I'll always keep an eye on you guys," he said quoting Whatmore.