There has been a shake-up of the coaching assignments for two of Barbados’ youth cricket teams.
Long-standing Under-19 coach Dexter Toppin has been switched from that position after 12 consecutive years of guiding the fortunes of the youth side at the regional level.
The affable Toppin, a former Spartan swing-bowling all-rounder, who also played 11 first-class matches in South Africa in the late 1980s, has been reassigned to the national Under-17 side.
Former Barbados captain and West Indies’ opening batsman Sherwin Campbell will replace Toppin in this year’s Regional tournament, slated for Barbados from July 31 to August 30.
The decisions were ratified at a Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) board meeting on Tuesday night at Kensington Oval following recommendations by the Calvin Hope-chaired cricket committee.
The 47-year-old Campbell, who previously coached the West Indies’ women’s team, is currently employed as a coach at the National Sports Council (NSC).
Over the past few seasons, the diminutive right-hander, who hit four centuries and averaged 32.38 in 52 Tests for the West Indies, has been coach/player with Division 1 team Ince Transport MTW.
He will have another former Barbados Under-19 captain and one-time senior team selectee, Shirley Clarke, as his assistant. The long-serving Livingstone Coppin remains as team manager.
The 60-year-old Toppin took over as Under-19 coach in 2005 from Roddy Estwick and during his tenure, apart from two one-day crowns, Barbados won the three-day title twice. The first was in 2008 under the leadership of Kyle Corbin and the second in 2012 with current West Indies’ batsman Shai Hope as captain, both on home soil.
“Our Under-19 team has not been doing well in recent years and the committee thought there was a need for a little freshness with the coach,” BCA president Conde Riley told Weekend Sport.
Riley said Campbell will also coach of the Barbados Youth team in the BCA’s Elite and Super50 and Twenty20 competitions.
“He brings a lot to the table as a former West Indies opening batsman of some merit. He is a good man to work with our young batsmen as we are trying to improve them and he will also play with the boys when required in BCA competitions,” added Riley.
Meanwhile, Toppin will have Christ Church Foundation’s coach Nhamo Winn as his deputy, with Ellerslie’s teacher Duane Best as team manager. This year’s Under-17 tournament is scheduled for Trinidad and Tobago, July 8 to 18.
Toppin will also coach the Barbados Youth team in the Division 1 competition.
Meanwhile, former Barbados and West Indies fast bowlers Vasbert Drakes and Corey Collymore have been hired to bolster the BCA’s coaching staff.
While Drakes, who was sacked as West Indies’ women’s coach after last year’s dismal World Cup campaign in England, restarted working on April 1, Collymore is set to begin his duties on Monday.
“We have a cadre of young fast bowlers in Barbados who recently started their first-class careers that we want to get the right. Corey is a good addition to work with our bowlers and provide that help as we also want to get their strength and conditioning right for the demands of fast bowling,” Riley said.
Previously, Drakes served as national senior team head coach while Collymore, who took 93 wickets in 30 Tests at 32.30 apiece, has been working with the West Indies Under-19 team.
“These are the people that we are employing to make sure that you do the right things, correct any kinks that you may have and then you have, along with your age group coaches . . . so that you can reach your full potential,” Riley also said in a brief address at the celebratory reception for the successful Barbados Under-15 team at Kensington Oval on Wednesday evening. (EZS)