Py­bus fuss par for the course

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Comment - Andi Thorn­hill

WE LIKE it so.

I won’t be among those help­ing to dry croc­o­dile tears over the ap­point­ment of Richard Py­bus as in­terim head coach of the West Indies.

Some of those who are now fret­ting over the ap­point­ment were re­mark­ably si­lent when Cricket West Indies (CWI) showed the door to Ot­tis Gib­son and Phil Sim­mons.

It was the gen­eral sen­ti­ment then that nei­ther got a fair break when they parted ways with CWI.

Who stood up for Sir Curtly Am­brose when he lost his pick as bowl­ing con­sul­tant?


Per­haps it wasn’t po­lit­i­cally cor­rect or pru­dent to op­pose those de­ci­sions openly , not own­ing the fact that there is al­ways the calm be­fore the storm. This lat­est storm in West Indies cricket seemed to be dev­as­tat­ing in some quar­ters, hit­ting like the prover­bial ton of bricks, caus­ing men­tal pain which usu­ally takes longer to heal.

I think what hurts the most is that it comes at a time when the de­bate across the re­gion favours a West In­dian for the top job.

The one cer­tainty is that Py­bus didn’t se­lect him­self. Even if he was hand­picked, as has been al­leged in some quar­ters, it wasn’t his call.

His de­trac­tors are only com­plain­ing on the grounds that he isn’t

West In­dian. Apart from that, he ap­pears to be well qual­i­fied for the job given his knowl­edge of re­gional cricket.

In the words of CWI’S di­rec­tor of cricket Jimmy Adams: “Richard comes into the role with pre­vi­ous in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence hav­ing worked with both Pak­istan and Bangladesh. Due to his cur­rent and pre­vi­ous in­volve­ment in CWI, he pos­sesses a good work­ing knowl­edge of both play­ers and coaches as the team pre­pares for im­por­tant home se­ries against Eng­land and In­dia with the 2019 World Cup to be played be­tween those se­ries.

In the re­lease an­nounc­ing Py­bus’ ap­point­ment this para­graph was the most in­trigu­ing: “Mean­while, the

CWI board of direc­tors have al­ready ap­proved a succession plan­ning pro­gramme for re­gional coaches and will be si­mul­ta­ne­ously be con­duct­ing a re­gional search in or­der to ap­point a long-term head coach for the Windies men’s team from

Septem­ber 2019 on­wards.”

Fair break

Even if the ref­er­ence from this is that the next head coach will be

West In­dian, what dif­fer­ence will it make if that per­son isn’t given a fair break to prove him­self or even if from time to time he sees things dif­fer­ently from his employers and it is held against him?

Even so, the pros­per­ity and re­nais­sance we hope for in West Indies cricket for­tunes may not rest solely on who is the coach. Af­ter all, we have had coaches of dif­fer­ent shades and na­tion­al­i­ties the past 20 years with­out get­ting the de­sired re­sults on a sus­tained ba­sis.

We might re­ally need an over­haul in the way we op­er­ate. A change of name of the par­ent body has only been cos­metic. Peo­ple still com­plain about the same is­sues and CWI still give the same an­swers. There­fore, no solution.

Yet again, we have divi­sion in the ranks ahead of a ma­jor se­ries.

This was rou­tine when we were called the West Indies Cricket Board and ear­lier when it had the word “con­trol” tied to it.

This pe­riod has eas­ily been one of the most con­tentious in West Indies cricket. The Py­bus is­sue is just a mi­cro­cosm.

Why are we los­ing sleep over it when clearly we like it so? Andi Thorn­hill is an ex­pe­ri­enced award-win­ning free­lance sports jour­nal­ist.

Email an­dithorn­[email protected]

THERE WAS LIT­TLE OUT­CRY when Ot­tis Gib­son was dis­missed as West Indies coach.

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