Apr 05, 2015 Sports
Colin E. H. Croft
New West Indies head-coach Philip Verant Simmons, 52 years old on April 18, must hit the ground
sprinting, with a plan of trying to instill attitudes and applications which he successfully used, from 2007, to drive Cricket Ireland and its players forward in his spell there as head-coach.
However, while most are optimistic, after Ottis Gibson’s chaotic tenure, just appreciate that there are no guarantees that Simmons will be successful here. One can only hope for positive results.
As suggested to me; “If Simmons really wants success in his new job, he had better bring some Irish players with him too, because present WI cricketers have no discipline and adhere to none!”
Of course, “Simmo” was born in Arima, Trinidad & Tobago, so he must know that there are two main, continuing obstacles to achieving any real progress in these parts, even before he can think about using skills to assist players – (a) polarizing insularity and (b) incessant, direct victimization.
It really would be some achievement if Simmons could even slightly dent those dastardly aberrations which continue to permeate almost universally in our cricket.
Having regularly experienced both, with documented and telephone-recorded proof too, I know that those two elements still openly exist in WI’s cricket façade, from the top right down to the open savannahs where youths play, even if few are prepared to acknowledge that it is indeed so.
I would even challenge anyone to go, as I have regularly done, to cricket grounds and arenas in the Caribbean, and, un-noticed or un-recognized, take stock of what transpires at coaching sessions.
If one is objective in thought, hopeful and open in mind, then that experience would make you cringe. Just try it, then please report back honestly!
But Phil is nobody’s fool. Having taken Ireland as far as possible but disappointingly and quite unfortunately not sufficiently forward in ICC’s minds to achieve Test status, an honor long overdue, he must know exactly what he is getting into here in the Caribbean.
I have known him since 1994 when he played for WI v touring England, so I am sure that he must have told his interviewing panel that while he really wanted this assignment and to badly help WI’s cricket, he would not allow any interruptions or intrusions whatsoever into his work.
Those developments will have to be seen to be believed, but this is a tough, worldly, no-nonsense guy who walked away with head held high when Zimbabwe’s cricket, where he was head-coach; 2008/2009; fell into disrepair, a cricketing entity in well publicized political and financial disarray.
Urgent, if not immediate, on Simmons’ plans must be to eliminate dead-wood embarrassingly masquerading as international cricketers now inhabiting especially WI’s senior ODI cricket team.
Fortunately for him, he has only Tests in the next few months; three Tests starting next week, against England, then two Tests in June against Australia. Therefore, ODI players can wait, as he will not have to assist in selecting those for some time.
Johnson Charles, Andre Russell, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Chris Gayle, Suleiman Benn, Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, passengers Nakita Millar and Sheldon Cottrell, all corpses to ambitions WI may have for future ODI’s, especially for CWC 2019, should all be entombed now!
None of those can get better or help WI further in ODI’s. Newer players could not do worse and would be better groomed for future ODI’s. Only Denesh Ramdin, wicket-keeper-Test captain, and Jason Holder, ODI captain-bowling all-rounder, should be retained for future ODI’s.
Simply, have a team built around those two for the next ODI tour, starting “from fresh!” Almost!
In reviewing WI at CWC 2015, two quite distasteful, nonsensical cricket situations occurred in which WI seemed cranially dead or at least comatose; games v India and v United Arab Emirates.
There should be investigations into these situations, but I doubt that would happen!
I first listened to international cricket, aged 7, in 1960/1, saw my first Test aged 12, when Australia toured WI in 1965, followed by playing for WI, then to Sports Journalism. Yet, I have never experienced a team so thoroughly inflexible and lacking in game-sense as was evident v India.
Needing 50 to win, six wickets down, with only Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the crease of any batting consequence, WI’s best bowlers were, for some reason, removed from the attack, eventually allowing part-timers Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith to be bowling at the death.
Unbelievably, Taylor, Holder, Russell and Roach collectively still had nine overs remaining!
Similarly, WI looked so uninterested when they played UAE. Tortoises running backwards would have moved quicker, as UAE somehow made 175 after being 46-6 at one stage!
Former fast bowling partner Michael Holding reacted angrily, verbal guns firing, suggesting that if WI did not want to play, then they should have just gone home.
What a terribly shambolic effort that was by WI!
So, we are set for “Simmo Time”. If WI could even draw that Test series v England, not to mention win it, then Phil Simmons could celebrate his 52nd birthday with some aplomb. Enjoy!
(E-mail address = [email protected])
The only savior of Guyana.
Oct 03, 2023SYDNEY, Australia – Hayley Matthews led the West Indies Women’s cricket team to a record-breaking victory by orchestrating the highest run chase in women’s T20 international...
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.