Chief executive officer of the West Indies Cricket Board, Michael Muirhead, has said that former international player and bowling consultant to the senior men’s team, Sir Curtly Ambrose, was not sacked as previously reported by regional media.
Muirhead, speaking on Good Morning Jojo Sports Show yesterday, said the Antiguan great worked on a tour to tour basis and his contract was simply not renewed following the successful T20 World Cup campaign.
“It came to a point where the coach felt that he wanted a technical coach in the set-up. We have 10 members in the coaching staff now and I think that was an optimal level we were at, and it was either that Sir Curtly begin coaching and if the head coach saw it fit for him to do that then that would have been fine,” he said.
“The head coach decided that he wanted someone else to deliver the coaching aspect of it, so he was not fired; he was just not re-engaged for the upcoming series,” Muirhead added.
In May, the WICB announced that the Antiguan had been replaced by Barbados and former West Indies A cricketer Roderick Estwick. Estwick, a highly qualified coach, is also a former bowling coach with the Barbados Pride.
Sir Curtly described the news that he was not being re-engaged as both shocking and disappointing.
“It came as a bit of a shock basically . . .I spoke to head coach Phil Simmons, and he told me that he wanted someone who is more technical to work with the fast bowlers. So, I said to him well, ‘if you knew I was doing a poor job, then you should have told me’. He said no, I did a fantastic job, because I brought a high level of discipline to the team, and I have motivated the guys quite a bit. I’ve gotten the respect from all the guys, and I did a fantastic job, but he wants somebody more technical, hence, he is going for Roderick Estwick,” Sir Curtly said at the time.
But according to Muirhead, Sir Curtly was chosen for a specific purpose.
“The team needed that motivation and we thought him, being the icon that he is, would have brought a lot to the team. It was never really envisaged at that point to be a permanent [job] for every tour [but] it evolved and he remained with the team on every tour. So it goes on a tour by tour [basis] . . . So after every tour, it’s the end of the assignment,” he explained.