It is rather interesting that whilst my suggestions in May 2003 were
ignored, the suggestions of a foreigner were adopted and accepted by the administrators and even the players.
I am fully aware that my suggestions were discussed by various local bodies and the West Indies Cricket Board but there were objections from the players and/or their association.
It is rather interesting that several top level foreign coaches and regional coaches were hired and all failed. Rohan Kanhai and Gus Logie were successful but their tenure were limited. We have now hired Philip Simmons.
The talent on show today is lacking. At over forty years old, we still rely on Shivnarine Chanderpaul for a major innings. So what is the way forward.
History will show that the West Indies, forgetting the 70’s and the 80’s were never a winning team but a spirited team. They were flamboyant and entertaining. And matches went into the fifth day.
Today we pray for a weather intervention to create a draw.
Philip Simmons will not unearth talent for the next two to three years. But Philip Simmons must demand fitness and discipline. These two aspects of our game were visibly absent at the recent World Cup 2015.
In a recent article, Tony Cozier stated that Dennis Waite was asked to reduce his training demands by Brian Lara and Carl Hooper, Captain and Vice-Captain on a tour to South Africa via a messenger, Clive Lloyd. This was a tour that started in controversy in London. Clive Lloyd prospered under the training of Dennis Waite in the 70’s and 80’s.
I heard of rumours of players disappearing after lunch during a camp in the West Indies but this was never confirmed in local newspapers.
Their complaint – the rigidity of the training. But I read it in the British newspaper, Telegraph I think in 2007, that the players complained to the New Zealand Trainer, who ignored their complaints.
The WICB refused to discipline the players for abandoning training and the trainer resigned.
I compare this to another story involving a New Zealand Trainer and an Asian Team, possibly Sri Lanka. At lunch, rice and peas and water were provided. The players wanted meat and voiced their opposition.
The trainer explained the nutritional value of the meal with relation to their training. The players accepted the explanation. After lunch and before returning to the field, the trainer stated quite clearly that on the next occasion, any opposition will result in expulsion.
The team performance then prospered.
Recently, a local cricketer was involved in a car accident at 04.00 p.m, prior to the Regional Super 50 series. These day matches start at 09.30 a.m. and ends at 05.30 p.m.. One expects the training camp to start prior to 09.30 a.m. and to end after 05.30 p.m. What was this cricketer doing on the road at 04.00 p.m? And the training session finished at what time? What was the purpose of the camp? The cricketer missed the entire tournament due to an injury.
What about the rumour that members of the West Indies team were in the bar up to 04.00 a.m. prior to the match with Kenya in the 1996 World Cup? Kenya won the match.
The recent regional series, four day and Super 50, did not produce any “outstanding” stars despite the “leading players” away on duty in South Africa. The West Indies Cricket Board, unfortunately the same executive but with hopefully a new mentality, and the respective local bodies must go back to trenches and start afresh.
The players must remember that they are all paid to pay cricket and hence must remain fit and disciplined, for the duration of their contract, otherwise … Is there an otherwise?
Hence Philip Simmons, for the short term, should concentrate on fitness and discipline.