Gibbs opposed to foreign coach
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
April 9, 2003

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CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Former Guyana and West Indies ace off-spinner Lance Gibbs is strongly opposed to a foreign coach supervising the regional cricket team.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced last week that Australian Bennett King will be appointed coach of the regional team, subject to completion of contractual negotiations but Gibbs has knocked the decision.

“We have had too many great cricketers to be bringing someone from outside. That’s my view,” Gibbs said in an exclusive interview in St Lucia on Sunday where he was one of the patrons for the historic Double Wicket World Cup.

“But let’s wait and see what’s going to happen. I don’t know who is being appointed as the Australian man (King) is saying he is not the coach. I don’t know what is really going on,” declared the 68-year-old Gibbs.

Gibbs, a tall, wily off-break bowler, who took 18 five-wicket Test hauls and had career-best figures of eight for 38 against India at Kensington Oval in 1962 noted it has not always been smooth sailing for teams who use foreign coaches as they have had to resort to their own people.

“Let’s look at it this way. Pakistan have just gotten rid of their overseas coach and they brought back Javed Miandad. (John) Wright (of New Zealand) is not returning even though India did particularly well (in the World Cup,” Gibbs noted.

Gibbs, who captured 309 wickets in 79 Tests between 1958 and 1976 at an average of 29.09 runs apiece to be the West Indies’ most successful spin bowler, said international teams have been making too many hasty decisions regarding coaches and captains.

“I think the whole cricketing world seems to be panicking. The English guy (Nasser) Hussain don’t want to be captain for the One-Day games any longer. (Sanath) Jayasuriya was coming out while (Shaun) Pollock has been fired and they (South Africa) are putting somebody else.

“I think they (the countries) should take it in stride and allow things to work themselves out in a much better way because when you start firing A, B, C, D as the case maybe, there is no confidence left in the individual who is going to take over,” contended Gibbs.

Gibbs, also a former West Indies team manager and coach, said he cannot say whether the former West Indian “greats” who have coached the regional team in the past, were able to make an impact on the players.

“I don’t know if they are not getting through. I got through to them,” Gibbs asserted.

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