Colin E. H. Croft
So, Ottis Gibson has been dismissed as head coach of West Indies. Many are not surprised at that, given the new
dispensation of WI cricket; supposed accountability for efforts, especially expected success; and Gibson’s relatively poor returns over his nearly five year tenure. Much seemed to be yet out of place!
Gibson had replaced Australian John Dyson, that coach who should have been instantly fired after he seemed not to understand Duckworth-Lewis computations when WI played an ODI v England at Guyana’s National Stadium in 2009. Nothing has been heard of Dyson since leaving his WI job!
Now, who is next? Already, two major names are emerging ahead of many others being mentioned.
Apparently in a prime lane is Phillip Simmons, former Trinidad & Tobago and WI all-rounder, who has been head coach of Zimbabwe before taking up his present, highly successful stint as head coach of ICC Associate, arguably that level’s best prepared and most productive team; Ireland.
Simmons has always suggested that “it would be an honor to be the head coach of West Indies”, whom he, of course, played for. Question is; would he want to leave Ireland now, after doing so well there?
Alongside Simmons on the starting block is South African Mickey Arthur, former South Africa and Australia head coach, who is also head coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs in Caribbean Premier League, and is heavily rumored to be of great interest to West Indies Cricket Board.
Indeed, there has already even been suggestions that Arthur could be favorite in these very rocky stakes, as there are thoughts that he has had preliminary talks with WICB, reference to this position!
But there are also so many other names which are being mentioned for this vacancy for the head coach position in WI cricket that, collectively, they can nearly make a cricket team for themselves!
Jimmy Adams, former Jamaica and WI captain, now head coach of English county cricket team Kent, has had a reasonable stint there over the last few years and could well come into serious consideration.
Roger Harper, former Guyana and WI all-rounder, former WI head coach and present head coach of Guyana’s Amazon Warriors in CPL, has, as the saying goes, “been there; done that!” Could he be WI head coach again?
Augustine “Gus” Logie, former Trinidad & Tobago captain, former WI batsman and former WI head coach, also former head coach of Canada and Bermuda, who has just been made head coach of Trinidad & Tobago, and who was in charge when WI won its last 50-overs tournament, Champions Trophy 2004, has also been mentioned.
Ironically, that success was Logie’s last input before being replaced by Australian Bennett King, another whose tenure has to be wondered at. Nothing tangible emerged from King’s time in the saddle.
Even Trinidad & Tobago and former Indian all-rounder, Robin Singh, could have a look in, as he has coached fielding for India, and is the head coach of the recently successful Barbados Trident CPL team.
Or, WICB could just stick with those now in temporary positions; Sir Richie Richardson as team head coach cum manager, Sir Curtley Ambrose as bowling consultant-coach, along with Stuart Williams as batting coach. That coaching trio, as a team, would not be a bad continuing combination.
Those named could make up a relatively good cricket team. But who will the new WI head coach be? Perhaps the more difficult question would be this: Who really wants this job badly enough?
Whom-so-ever gets the job will have a very hard, bouncy road to travel, for WI has many important imminent assignments in the next six months, up to and including ICC blue ribbon event, its 50-overs 2015 World Cup, plus England’s three Test tour to the Caribbean directly after ICC World Cup 2015.
Immediately following this WI v Bangladesh series, which ends with Test No. 2; St. Lucia; on September 17, WI tours India for five ODI’s, three Tests and one T-20-I, between October 08 and November 19 next.
Then West Indies goes to South Africa for a similar series there too over Christmas holidays, running from December 17, 2014 to January 28, 2015, consisting of three Tests, three T-20-I’s and five ODI’s.
Anyone appointed to the head coach position of West Indies cricket will have to hit the ground sprinting, not just running. That person had better be prepared for diligent work and to be suitably monitored.
This appointment would probably come after West Indies thrashes Bangladesh over the next several weeks in the two Tests of this series, a phenomenon not altogether unexpected, given the way the Tigers have played so far, especially in ODI # 2; a seriously poor effort!
There may not be the appearance of any real rush if one surveys senior personnel associated with WI cricket, yet this appointment should be done immediately, if not sooner. The senior West Indies cricket team will beat Bangladesh, but India and South Africa will present much more difficult challenges.
Excitement in WI cricket is planned. It could start with appointment of a good head coach! Enjoy!
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