Appointment Of Windies New Interim Coach Stirs Discontent

Since Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced Richard Pybus as interim head coach of the senior team, grumblings have been rife as regards the manner of the Englishman’s appointment with some factions expressing their displeasure at the development.

Just a little over a week after the appointment leaked, a statement which informed that Pybus would assume duties as head coach “with immediate effect” was made public by the CWI.

For many of the aggrieved parties, the move by the CWI came across as a blatant snub to Enoch Lewis, the President of Leeward Islands Cricket Board, who has been pretty vocal against the appointment even when it was only as rumors and grapevines.

Lewis had clamored for the revoke of the appointment because, according to him, it went against the tenets of transparency, due process, and fairness.

The CWI statement suggested that the newly appointed coach will guide the team for the upcoming visit of England, the Triangular Series in Ireland, the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC), as well as the visit of India in July and August.

In some quarters, the appointment is viewed as a deliberate act by CWI President, Dave Cameron, to influence proceedings and throw his weight about. Many consider Pybus’ appointment as one that was sanctioned and rubber-stamped by Cameron as the Englishman is believed to have been ‘hand-picked’ by the CWI President.

Cameron is believed to have pulled the plug on discussions with former fielding coach, Nic Pothas, who according to Lewis, was the overwhelming favorite for the job as per the choice of the board. The termination of discussions with the South African was followed by dubious claims that both parties had reached an impasse in negotiations – something Lewis strongly believes was independently determined by the architect of the new appointment.

It is believed that Pothas had held out for a similar level of compensation that previous coach, Stuart Law, was entitled to during his reign but was being offered barely half that. And even though situations like this are not uncommon, Cameron has undermined the board by going out of his way to negotiate and conclude a deal with Pybus without the board sanctioning the move.

“The negotiations conducted with Mr. Pybus by President Cameron were without pre-authorisation and input from the board,” Lewis contended in a strongly-worded letter to CWI last month.

“None of the DoC (Directors of Cricket), the Cricket Committee, or the Technical Cricket Committee were consulted on the initiative to engage or negotiate with Mr. Pybus.”

The decision by the CWI President appears to have irked many as it has now sparked debate amongst directors, while also proving a divisive issue. And that is the last thing Windies cricket needs at this point.

Even though the statement by the CWI suggests that recruitment for a head coach on a permanent basis will be conducted shortly with Pybus’ successor expected to take up the reins by September, the squabble and bickering around the most recent development is coming as an unwanted distraction in the Windies camp in the wake of upcoming games.

Windies cricket should grab headlines and continuously be in the press, but this shouldn’t be one of the talking points.

In any case, it does look like Pybus’ appointment is going to stand but whether that proves a shrewd move or a costly one, is a story that only time can tell.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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