On Target
March 5, 2010
No Coach can – None!

The recent employment of Barbadian Ottis Gibson by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as its Head Coach is neither here nor there with me.{{more}}

This, as I have resigned to accept, that no one, irrespective of his coaching acumen, can turn around West Indies Cricket. Sad, but true.

The post of Head Coach of the West Indies Cricket is like a poisoned chalice. No one seems to want to be part of a ramshackled organisation, which at times operates worse than a mauby shop.

The WICB had messed up when they appointed Australian Bennett King and his entourage with his blanket authority.

In came another Australian, John Dyson. Things did not change and he, too, was sacked.

Gibson, a former Barbadian player, who had two tests for the West Indies, and some One Day Internationals, has experience playing in South Africa and England. Most recently, Gibson served as the bowling coach of England.

In announcing Gibson’s appointment, Chief Executive Officer of the West Indies Cricket Board Ernest Hilaire indicated: “We are not asking Ottis to turn around the West Indies fortunes and make them a winning team overnight. There has to be a gradual chain of development”.

Hilaire was setting his path of diplomacy, as he, like others, is aware that West Indies’ problems are deep rooted and have to do with the structure and administration of the Caribbean game.

What can Gibson say to the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo or even Kemar Roach, who are making mints from the shortest form of the game, 20/20?

Can Gibson combat the ‘blingers’, whose interest is more in twitter and designer clothes etc.?

What can he tell them and others who have the strong backing of the antagonistic West Indies Players Association (WIPA)?

Can Gibson with all his experiences and modern know how do anything to turn around the technical ability of a player like Runarko Morton?

It does not take anyone with supreme knowledge of Cricket to see the Nevisian is not coachable.

So what is the point continuing with someone who scores tons of runs in the half baked, sub standard four-day regional tournament, then cannot get the ball off the square at the international level?

I guess selectors Clyde Butts, Raphick Jumadeen and Robert Haynes will give Ryan Hinds a look in against Zimbabwe or South Africa. Another case of a dead -end player.

We in the region have become masters of being copy cats, but we fail to copy the good things.

We do not emulate them, when young players are knocking on the door and are not being let in, when there is much room in the inn.

It was not like 25 years ago, when the likes of Rawlston Otto and Aneil Raja were scoring runs at will in the then Shell Shield, and yet could not weave their way into regional representation.

But yet still we feel great about labeling the regional team as Windies – speaks of a falsehood masqueraded with unattainable hope.

Since that sobriquet, it has all gone downhill. Instead, it should be win- dies, as the various representative teams simply do not know how to win.

The recent thrashing of the regional side by Australia exposes the non existent under belly of the West Indies Cricket. Without, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards and Jerome Taylor, the West Indies looked worst than some schoolboy cricketers.

On the other hand, the Australians who blooded some peripheral players looked and performed the part.

With Gibson being in charge of all regional teams, he should first get hands on experience as to what occurs in the individual territories, which are the suppliers of West Indies’ stock.

But Mr. Gibson, who sports a bald head, may soon find himself with grey patches as what has come out of this year’s just concluded regional four-day competition is enough to make him quit the job immediately.

At almost a dead end, he got a got baptism last Sunday when his charges could not beat Zimbabwe in a T/20 match. Nothing for him to smile about thereafter.

Thanks for some action on the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field, but the coluum awaits its complete removal.