The trouble with coach Simmons
THE TIME has come for the West Indies Cricket Board to look for a new coach for the senior cricket team.
It’s a shame for a coach, on the eve of a Test match, to be asking for players who have publicly mentioned that they are not interested in Test cricket or have retired from that format of the game, while the others are not good enough to create an impact on the game at Test level.
Phil Simmons, again without much thought in his speech, has shown total disrespect to all the members in the team. He is actually telling them that their abilities and skills are not good enough. One of the essential tasks of a coach is to motivate his players to perform and certainly Mr Simmons is actually demoralising the team.
One of his senior members has made it clear that the team is lacking in confidence, but instead of supporting the team, he is calling for players who are total failures. What kind of results can a team achieve when its coach is unnecessarily frustrated over a situation that existed before his appointment and a situation that will not change? Can his frustration affect the team?
Chris Gayle at 36 [seems] not really interested in Test cricket; Dwayne Bravo has made clear to all West Indians where his focus and loyalty lie, despite him being been a modest performer at the Test level. In his last ten Test innings his average was 21.8 and in his last ten Test matches he took 19 wickets at 41 runs apiece.
Andre Russell has been one of our poorest bowlers in all formats of the game. Russell has played one Test match and took one wicket for 104 runs and made two runs. In 2015, he played 13 One-Day Internationals and took 16 wickets at 36.11 while making 268 runs at an average of 29.7. In his entire Twenty20 career, his average for West Indies is 11.52 runs while he took 11 wickets at 48.90 runs. Lendl Simmons has played eight Test matches and has an average of 17.37.
The point is clear that the players the coach is begging for will not make any difference to the West Indies team. What Mr Simmons should do is stop begging for proven failures and groom the young talent in the team.
At the moment, West Indies cricket needs players who want to play for the West Indies and not players who want to use the West Indies team as a convenience when there is no T20 tournament going on.
I think the West Indies selectors are on the right path with this young team, but unfortunately the team needs a coach who can impart technical knowledge, instil confidence and motivate young players to perform.
Mr Simmons, it time for you to go!
– BARNEY CALLENDER, Former BCL Division 1 cricketer and FIFA-accredited referee.