Whatmore, who guided Sri Lanka to World Cup triumph earlier this year, fills the position vacated by the England coach, David Lloyd. John Stanworth, the second-team coach, temporarily deputised for Lloyd this year, when Lancashire won the NatWest Trophy and Benson and Hedges Cup, although they had a desperately disappointing Championship campaign.
Whatmore played seven Tests for Australia, the last of which was in 1979. The Lancashire chairman, Bob Bennett, said: "Dav Whatmore is a proven winner and I am delighted he is coming to Old Trafford. He has experience at international level both as a player and coach. He was very keen from the moment of the initial approach and everyone at the club is looking forward to working with him."
Speaking from Nairobi, where Sri Lanka are competing in a tournament, Whatmore said: "I know that Lancashire are the biggest club in England. I relish the challenge of working alongside some very talented players at Old Trafford."