ST JOHN’S. Antigua – It would appear that Stuart Law could not wait to be rid of the West Indies team. The Australian, who quit his position as coach in September, was scheduled to end his stint after the tour of Bangladesh but has apparently ended his stint prematurely.
The 50-year-old Law has not travelled with the Caribbean side for the tour comprising two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals. Fielding coach Nic Pothas will now immediately slot in as the interim head coach.
In announcing Law’s resignation last September, CWI said: “Law will continue in his role for the upcoming away series against India and Bangladesh and will leave to join Middlesex CCC in the New Year.”
In Monday’s statement on Pothas being elevated to interim head coach, no mention was made of Law and his absence from the Bangladesh tour, only that the South Africa would lead the technical team.
“Having Nic lead the team at this juncture is important for continuity and we look forward to strong and positive performances from the squad under his leadership,” said CWI director of cricket, Jimmy Adams.
Law, who is set to join English county Middlesex on a four-year deal, oversaw the ill-fated recent tour of India where West Indies won just one match. They were hammered in both Tests inside three days, went down 3-1 in the five-match ODI series before being swept 3-0 in the T20 Internationals.
Law’s departure marks the end of a near two-year stint marked mainly by a string of disappointing results.
He won six of his 17 Tests in charge with series wins coming only against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in seven tours. In 31 ODIs across nine bilateral series, Law oversaw five wins and 21 defeats and was without a single series success.
In T20s, he managed a mere eight wins in 22 matches, while losing 13.
Law came in for criticism last month from former Barbados and West Indies Test all-rounder Vasbert Drakes who questioned his motives for quitting an international side to coach at the lower county level. He dismissed Law’s suggestion that being close to his family in England was at the center of his move.
“All of us have family. When he first accepted the job, he would have taken his family into consideration, so I cannot really buy into his explanation that he is going to Middlesex because he wants to be close to his family. I was rather disappointed with his explanation. In my view it is a rather weak reason for quitting the position of head coach. It is always an aspiration to coach at the highest level. It is strange for a coach to step down from coaching a team at the international level and accept a job in county cricket,” Drakes said then.
Despite the change of coach, stand-in captain on the Bangladesh tour Kraigg Brathwaite said his team was ready for the challenge of playing against Bangladesh at home when the series bowls off on Thursday.
On their previous tour, the Windies struggled to gain a foothold in two difficult Tests against India where they were easily defeated by an innings and 272 runs and then by 10 wickets.
They can, however, claim motivation from a partly competitive One Day International series and a strong showing in the two-day practice match
‘I think the preparation is quite good,’ Brathwaite told reporters in Chattogram after the drawn two-day practice game yesterday.
“Obviously [we would] probably prefer a three-day game for tours, unlike this, and we have come from India also and for that, I think it was very good preparations for us before the first Test,” he added.
“There will be a few challenges. We have to expect that. We are up for the challenge. It won’t be so easy. Obviously, they are very good at home. But we are ready for the challenges.”
Brathwaite, leading the side in the absence of injured regular captain Jason Holder, said they were already keeping a close eye on the pitch for the opening Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
“[We are] expecting a slower type of pitch – normal surfaces here. Let’s see now what happens,” the opener said.
West Indies have an excellent record against Bangladesh, beating them in six of seven series and winning 10 of 14 Tests.
Their only series defeat to the Tigers came in 2009 in the Caribbean when a players strike robbed the hosts of their first choice players.