Assistant coach of the West Indies men’s team, Roddy Estwick, says the practice sessions being conducted at Kensington Oval for the Barbadian contingent of the regional squad for the three-match Test series against England have been going wonderfully well. That series is slated to be played from July 8 to 24 in bio-secure conditions at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester.
Last Monday, the Barbadians players who are expected to be included in the West Indies extended squad of 25 began training at the Kensington Oval under the guidance of Estwick, several members of the coaching staff of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and former interim head coach of the West Indies men’s team Floyd Reifer.
On Thursday Cricket West Indies board of directors gave their approval in principle for the West Indies tour to England to go ahead.
“The sessions have been going marvelously. The boys have been working hard, they had a two-month break from cricket, so they are happy to get back out and do some work. They are really buying into the one on one sessions we are conducting with them. We have also been giving them individual attention, so everything is going well as far as I and the other coaches are concerned as well,” Estwick said at the conclusion of another intense training session on Monday afternoon.
He disclosed that the cricketers were eager to get into the nets after having a long period away from cricket.
“If cricket is your job and you are not raring to go after a two-month break then something would have to be fundamentally wrong. The boys are really happy to be getting some vital practice. They came to the Oval a lot earlier today to start the sessions at 7.15 this morning so that tells you how dedicated, committed and disciplined they are. The fellows really worked well today, we had an excellent session,” Estwick told Barbados TODAY.
On the tour prospects Estwick said: “Well I don’t know if the tour is going to come off or not, my knowledge of it has been gleaned from what I have been reading in the papers and hearing on television and the radio. If the tour takes place, the boys will be way ahead in their preparation. They have a month of training ahead before the first Test match, in addition to the weeks here that would equate to six weeks of good solid preparation. Therefore, they should be ready the Tests. Most of them were in the United Kingdom three years ago when they had a closely fought series which England won 2-1, so they should be looking forward to doing a lot better this time.”
The veteran coach said he was extremely keen on coaching the cricketers, some of whom he knew from the tender age of nine. He stressed he was not only impressed with their development as cricketers but as human beings also.
“I have known all of these young men when they were still at primary school, I am not only impressed with them as cricketers. They are also good human beings who do a lot of community work among underprivileged children and families that is not always highlighted in the media. Anytime they are asked to support the needy, they are willing to help. So for me to see them grow into good human beings is just as satisfying as watching them develop as cricketers,” the former Barbados fast bowler said.
Estwick said the job of West Indies bowling coach was one that he loved and considered himself fortunate to be given the opportunity to coach international cricketers.
“I am enjoying coaching. I have been fortunate that I have never had to work a day of my life because coaching is not a job to me, it is a vocation. A number of people are working in jobs they don’t like. I am doing something that I love. I love coaching and interacting with young people. So for me, I am very happy to be a coach, the day I stop enjoying coaching is the day I will quit,” Estwick said.
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.