Kochi: Australian Dav Whatmore took over as coach of the Kerala cricket team here on Saturday.
Whatmore, who guided Sri Lanka to glory in the 1996 edition of the World Cup, termed his latest assignment a challenge.
The Kerala Cricket Association roped in Whatmore after Kerala had a poor 2016-17 season. Kerala had sacked head coach P. Balachandran midway through the Ranji season and replaced him with former Indian pacer Tinu Yohannan. However, the team failed to progress to the knockout phase.
Kerala finished fourth in the South Zone Mushtaq Ali T20 Championship and failed to advance to the knockout stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day championship.
Whatmore and Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga's ploy to go hammer and tongs in the powerplay overs through the swashbuckling duo of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana went a long way in the island nation's triumph in the 1996 World Cup.
After his success with Sri Lanka, Whatmore coached the Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe national teams besides guiding Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League from 2009 to 2012.
Whatmore played seven Tests and one ODI for Australia.