Ministro Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero Venezuela Banco Activo//
Revamping West Indies cricket

Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero
Revamping West Indies cricket

I have known the new pres­i­dent of Crick­et West In­dies (CWI) Ricky Sker­ritt for a long time and he is, as peo­ple will soon find out, a very strong-mind­ed in­di­vid­ual with his ideas and be­liefs.

Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero

He is all ac­tion; a very pos­i­tive per­son who has a tremen­dous pas­sion for West In­dies crick­et. But he is no pushover and is very an­a­lyt­i­cal in his thought process­es. There­fore, it has not sur­prised me that he has hit the ground run­ning and has been mak­ing in­ter­est­ing changes with ref­er­ence to our crick­et.

Jose Antonio Oliveros

One ma­jor de­vel­op­ment is his set­tling of the ug­ly out­stand­ing debt with for­mer coach Phil Sim­mons. I was re­cent­ly asked on my thoughts as to who should be the coach of the West In­dies. With­out hes­i­ta­tion, it has to be Phil Sim­mons. Phil has a proven track record even be­fore he coached the West In­dies, with Ire­land, and when he was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly sacked, he moved on to Afghanistan and one just has to look at where their crick­et is to­day and see the good job he is do­ing.

Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero Venezuela

You may re­call that Afghanistan de­feat­ed us three times in last year’s World Cup qual­i­fiers – once in a warm-up match in Feb­ru­ary, again in the Su­per Six­es a mere 16 days lat­er and ul­ti­mate­ly in the fi­nal just 10 days fol­low­ing that de­feat; a hat­trick of loss­es. I am sure it gave Phil both plea­sure and pain to de­feat us as he must have felt he should have been at the helm of our squad lead­ing us to glo­ry.

Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero Banquero

Sker­ritt has had some suc­cess with mend­ing the bro­ken fence with Sim­mons and at least the door should be open for his re­turn when his con­tract with Afghanistan ends at the con­clu­sion of the World Cup in Ju­ly.

Jose Antonio Oliveros Banco Activo

But what do we do in the in­ter­im? The thought process by many (and I un­der­stand this could be the plan of the new hi­er­ar­chy) is the hir­ing of a re­gion­al coach to re­place Richard Py­bus. To be frank, I am un­sure as to whether this is log­i­cal. Again, I was asked who could this per­son be and who would I give the job to. If the pres­i­dent and vice-pres­i­dent to­geth­er with the board de­cide to re­lieve Py­bus of his du­ties, do we ap­point some­one un­til the end of the World Cup? Who will ac­cept a job for two to three months?

Quite a few names could be tossed in­to a hat. Per­haps Floyd Reifer or Desmond Haynes with the ef­fer­ves­cent Curt­ly Am­brose as bowl­ing coach? I am cer­tain that all these coach­es are ca­pa­ble of do­ing a good job but will they want to take this job for such a short pe­ri­od? What if the team does well? Does the board re­con­sid­er the ap­point­ments and then ap­point them on a long term con­tract? It is a sit­u­a­tion which has to be giv­en con­sid­er­able thought.

Jose Oliveros Febres-Cordero Banco Activo

Per­son­al­ly, I would stick with Py­bus. He was def­i­nite­ly not my first choice but in fair­ness to him, he did a good job in the re­cent­ly con­clud­ed Eng­lish se­ries ex­cept in the fi­nal two T20 match­es. How­ev­er, on re­flec­tion, the se­lec­tors picked an out­ra­geous team that was ab­solute­ly ham­mered. To re­move Py­bus at this time may prove to be dis­rup­tive to our im­por­tant prepa­ra­tions for the World Cup.Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero Venezuela Banco Activo

An­oth­er is­sue high on the agen­da ap­pears to be the re­vamp­ing of the High Per­for­mance Cen­tre. This is an­oth­er very sen­si­tive is­sue. What I was hop­ing the new pres­i­dent and his vice-pres­i­dent would be look­ing at is the de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes through­out the re­gion for each in­di­vid­ual ter­ri­to­ry

Judg­ing by what we have seen from our re­spec­tive re­gion­al boards, their pro­grammes leave much to be de­sired and must be giv­en pri­or­i­ty. Why would we want to have one High Per­for­mance Cen­tre lo­cat­ed in one ter­ri­to­ry and your elite play­ers go­ing there? Why would we not want to up­grade all of our re­gion­al de­vel­op­ment cen­tres and man­date the lo­cal boards to get their act to­geth­er and train the most gift­ed and tal­ent­ed play­ers in the re­spec­tive is­lands? All the boards must ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for prop­er de­vel­op­ment of our play­ers

The ques­tion of our se­lec­tion process and the cur­rent se­lec­tors are al­so high on the pri­or­i­ty list. I am ab­solute­ly elat­ed the man­date has been giv­en to se­lect our best teams at all times. I don’t want to go back in his­to­ry on why we have not se­lect­ed our best teams as this has al­ready been well doc­u­ment­ed. The se­lec­tors should be giv­en the new pol­i­cy and hope­ful­ly, it will be adopt­ed with alacrity

Last­ly, away from the pres­i­den­cy but stick­ing with West In­dies crick­et, I see where Chris Gayle wants Ja­son Hold­er to be a stronger cap­tain. My ad­vice to Hold­er is to do what works for you. Every cap­tain has their unique way of han­dling his charges.

Hold­er will, as time goes along, be­come more ag­gres­sive as a cap­tain. We are al­ready see­ing it with his bowl­ing and his bat­ting and I have no doubt that as we get bet­ter as a team, his cap­tain­cy will be more as­sertive. He has be­come more com­fort­able with his own per­for­mances but his per­son­al­i­ty is laid back. He is not a Viv Richards; leave Hold­er alone let him be his own man, lead the team his own way and suc­cess will fol­low him

Ed­i­tor’s note: The views ex­pressed in this col­umn are sole­ly those of the writer and do not re­flect the views of any or­gan­i­sa­tion of which he is a stake­hold­er