The heyday when Otis Gibson was named as one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year regarded as the greatest single force in county cricket and applauded as a successful England bowling coach is long gone.
Now, after serving as West Indies cricket coach for the past three years in what may be described as a rocky start, given his fall out and later rapprochement with senior players, the 43-year-old Gibson has nothing much to show in the trophy cupboard.
Notwithstanding, the West Indies Cricket Board has reposed great confidence in Gibson’s ability by renewing his contract for a further three years which will see him overseeing the team through to 2016.
However, a number of former players and cricket fans throughout the diaspora have viewed Gibson’s performance as coach to date with sore displeasure and disappointment. Consequently, there is now a cry and call for his axing as head coach.
In fact, the hue and cry have grown even louder given West Indies humiliating defeat by New Zealand in the second test of a three match test series currently being played in New Zealand.
The gripe among former players as well as fans since Gibson has assumed the role of coach over the past three years includes but not limited to the following:
First, a series loss to Bangladesh – a new low in West Indies cricket losing to a team that started playing test cricket in 2000 and, moreover, a team considered to be a minnow in world cricket.
Second, the loss of the ICC Champions Trophy in England – an overall below par performance that caused the team to be knocked out of the competition.
Third, the regression of pace bowlers – the failure of Tino Best to stamp his class on the game as a pace bowler after ten years; the frequent break down of the promising Ravi Rampaul; the inconsistency of the new hope, Kemar Roach; the out of favor, former sensational slinger, Fidel Edwards who from all indication is now put out to pasture; the excited all rounder Andre Russell and the ebullient Dwayne Bravo who both now appear to be out of the reckoning to play in the longer version of the game. This is underscored by the meager wicket return of newly found pacers, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell, and Shannon Gabriel.
Fourth, an embarrassing white wash by India – poor and inconsistent batting display by W.I. batsmen throughout the recent test series against India may be best described as taking candy from a baby given the beat down and whipping of the team by India during the series.
On the other hand, the optimists will bludgeon the call for Gibson’s dismissal as coach by pointing to the six test matches won in a row by the West Indies – 2-0 over New Zealand last summer, 2-0 over Bangladesh in that country last November, and 2-0 over Zimbabwe in March. In addition, they will also refer the naysayers to the winning of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Trophy.
However, the fact of the matter is in the world of coaches and coaching, one is judged by the number of silverwares in the cupboard and on the quality of the output of players under one’s charge. Currently, as it is, the West Indies cupboard is bare and players appear to take one step forward and ten steps backward.
Now, regardless of the excuses and blame, the only person to be held accountable for the West Indies team performance is coach Gibson – the buck stops with him.
Therefore, given the overall performance of the West Indies team to date it is not an overreach, neither is it unreasonable to ask Gibson to pack his bag and go after the West Indies tour of New Zealand.
What say you?