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Poor players to blame for Windies coaching crisis - Roberts

Published:Wednesday | September 26, 2018 | 12:00 AM
West Indies head coach Stuart Law (third left) chats with his players during a recent training session.

ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):

Fast bowling legend Sir Andy Roberts believes that West Indies will continue to lose their head coaches because of the lack of player talent in the Caribbean.

He was speaking on the heels of Monday's announcement by Cricket West Indies that men's head coach Stuart Law would quit the side at year end, following just under two years in charge.

The decision left CWI with the task of finding their fourth head coach in nine years after Barbadian Ottis Gibson was sacked in 2014 following four years in charge, and Phil Simmons got the axe two years ago.

"I am not surprised [by Law's decision] because I knew it was going to happen, and if they don't get fired, then they resign, they move on," Roberts said.

"It's a reflection because we don't have good cricketers, and that's the bottom line, and nobody wants to be hanging on for hanging on sake. [At this point] I would just hire somebody to go with the team, cut down on all of that backroom staff they have so we can focus on playing cricket."

Law, an Australian who played one Test, replaced Simmons, who was fired in September 2016, five months after leading West Indies to their capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India.

He had little success, however, winning just two of six Test series - against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - and also failing to win any of the eight One-Day International series over which he presided.

For Roberts, however, the problem of the Windies performances was much deeper than coaching. According to the 67-year-old, who grabbed 202 wickets in 47 Tests between 1974 and 1983, the regional talent pool was so small and commitment so lacking that West Indies were bound to struggle regardless of who was appointed head coach.

"The bottom line is we do not have good cricketers and I disagree that we have this abundance of talent," Roberts contended.

"We don't have this abundance of talent, but we have some reasonable cricketers. If the players aren't prepared to put in the hard work to improve their game, you are going to end up with what we have right now, and we will be ending up with that right through, so the onus is on the players to try and improve."

West Indies are currently in India for a full series, which includes two Tests, five One-Day Internationals, and three Twenty20 Internationals.

They will play a similar full series in Bangladesh immediately following.