Former Barbados all-rounder Franklyn Stephenson believes coaching the West Indies senior men’s team must be the most frustrating job in the world and adds he was surprised Stuart Law lasted so long at the helm.
Stephenson’s comments came a day after the resignation of Law who took up the position as coach of West Indies in February 2017. Law, an Australian, quit the job to take up a new one as head coach of Middlesex and therefore will see out his close to two-year tenure with Cricket West Indies (CWI) in December. He had replaced the sacked Phil Simmons.
Today Barbados Cricket Association president and CWI director Conde Riley told Barbados TODAY that the regional governing body for cricket would meet tomorrow via teleconference to discuss the way forward regarding a suitable candidate to replace Law in the coming months.
But Stephenson, currently the head coach of the Franklyn Stephenson Academy and a former outstanding cricketer on the England and South Africa first-class scene, was of the view that the job would most likely go to “somebody’s friend”. He charged that was how the Caribbean operated when it came to cricket.
“It has got to be the most frustrating thing for anybody to come from any part of the world and coach West Indies cricket. You have a lot of demigods, and nobody takes advice for anything. You fall into the programme until you get a better opportunity and then go. I am surprised he lasted that long because it is the most frustrating job in the world to coach West Indies cricket.
“Somebody has got a friend somewhere. I am sure they can slip into the position. You don’t give persons the job unless they are a friend of yours because chances are they may have other ideas. You want a team coach, you can’t coach the team, but you got every right to select that person because then that person is supposed to be doing what you want them to do,” Stephenson said.
In August 2017 Law guided West Indies to a memorable five-wicket Test match victory against England, the first after 17-years at Headingley. The former top-order batsman also coached the West Indies to a series win against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and ensured the regional side qualified for the 2019 International Cricket Council World Cup in England.
“I have had to make the difficult decision to leave my role of head coach with CWI. It has been very enjoyable, and I believe we have made tremendous strides forward as a team during the past two years. I would like to thank the players, staff and the fans for their support over this period, I have appreciated it greatly. I will be taking a role with Middlesex CCC which will keep me close to my family while continuing within the cricket family. I wish the players and staff of CWI every success in the future,” Law stated at the time of announcing his imminent departure.
Riley told Barbados TODAY he was disappointed to see the departure of Law but said it was time to move on as the board searched for a suitable replacement.
“We are going to look for a position from director of cricket Jimmy Adams. We have a teleconference meeting tomorrow to appoint someone from within, and then we go through the process of selecting a new coach. It was unexpected, but these things happen in international sports, and of course, it depends on the offer they are likely to leave, that is why we try to have in their contract that they must give us notice. We have a cadre of coaches right now working with the various West Indies teams, and then there is always the option of going to the market through the various firms that hire these high-profile coaches,” Riley said.
He added: “Homegrown coaches can apply, we have had several regional coaches such as Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Gus Logie and Roger Harper, to name a few. We have had several West Indian coaches over the years, so we would not rule out the possibility of a regional coach.”