Skerritt defends appointment of foreign coaches
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has hit back at his critics for what he says is a misinterpretation of his comments concerning the hiring of overseas coaches after recent appointments to the West Indies coaching set-up.
Pundits around the region have questioned the president’s integrity, arguing that the Kittitian has gone back on his promise to focus on providing opportunities for local coaches after Skerritt’s administration brought in Australian coaching education manager Chris Barbazon, Indian batting coach Monty Desai, and Zimbabwean fielding coach Trevor Penney, who has replaced Guyanese Rayon Griffith.
However, Skerritt was quick to point out that he did not say he would exclusively hire West Indians while noting that a lack of expertise in the region left CWI with little option but to look externally for qualified coaches to fill the positions.
“There is no reverse at all. First thing is that I didn’t say we would hire West Indian coaches only. I said we would adopt a West Indian-first policy, whereby, we would look at the individuals we have in the region, and if we cannot find the respective talent to fill those roles, then we would have to go overseas to do so,”Skerritt told The Sunday Gleaner.
The CWI President went on to add that the technical committee, led by Jimmy Adams, was tasked with finding find the best suitable candidates for the respective jobs and that there weren’t enough persons in the region who were qualified to take up the positions.
“The reality is that we do not have the required persons with the requisite expertise, especially in white-ball cricket, and so we had to look outside of the region to fill those positions. The persons that we have brought in like Chris (Barbazon) are internationally qualified, and we believe they will help us to get to where we want to be,” Skerritt said.
Skerritt added that part of the contractual arrangements with the new employees would be to transfer their skills to some of the local coaches so that in the future, the region would have a pool that could match up to the best in the world.
“These coaches have been hired with a contractual obligation to share their best practices, and this is a policy with which we are moving forward so that we can develop our local coaches. In a week’s time, Jimmy Adams and head coach Phil Simmons, as well as our CEO, Johnny Grave, will meet to further the discussion on coaching as we look to develop our game soon,” added Skerritt.
Skerritt replaced Dave Cameron as CWI president in March last year. Shortly after taking the reins, Skerritt removed English coach Richard Pybus from his head-coaching position as part of a overhaul.