Logie promises new approach to ensure smooth journey
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
April 16, 2003

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RECENT coaches have been at their wits end to turn around the fortunes of the wobbly West Indies team but interim coach Gus Logie is bringing a new approach to ensure a smooth journey for the Caribbean cricketers.

The Trinidadian, who played 52 Tests, mostly under successful captains Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards in the 1980s, plans to instil new team values and player principles while adhering to a set of watchwords.

Logie endured a love-hate relationship during his career with just two Test centuries and a batting average in the mid-thirties but he reckons that a change in attitude and commitment by the regional players could pay dividends in bringing about resurgence in West Indies cricket.

“I don’t think it will be difficult getting the players to buy into something that I feel dear to me. West Indies cricket means a lot to all of us and I think the players have certainly expressed a desire to do that,” Logie said after the nine-wicket loss to Australia on Sunday.

But Logie sees the defeat as only a temporary setback since he recognises that the work ethics of the West Indian players have been very encouraging.

“They are quite willing, they are contributing to team meetings much more than in previous times from my understanding and every step of the way, they are taking ownership of what they have to do out there,” Logie said.

“They are learning as they go along and I can see that from the young players,” Logie noted.

The level of commitment shown by Wavell Hinds, who filled the role of No.1 opening batsman, wicketkeeper and runner in the Test, following a groin injury to specialist gloveman, Ridley Jacobs, also impressed Logie.

“I go back to individuals who may not have done well in terms of runs and wickets but their whole attitude in the dressing room.

“You talk about Wavell Hinds, his enthusiasm to be out there, to run for someone for as long as he did, then to go on to wicket-keep; then to open in an evening against some of the fastest bowlers in the world.

“He had a ready-made excuse but he didn’t. He wanted to be there and that shows a level of commitment. I think sooner or later, it is going to trickle down to everyone,” Logie contended.

Logie says his philosophy in shaping the side is not only geared towards attitudinal changes but also ensuring the players maximise their ability.

“I don’t want to talk about turning any corner or changing anything.

We are trying to create an environment and atmosphere where the players can realise their true potential,” remarked Logie.

“As you realise there has been a lot of dissension in and around the camp. What we are trying to make sure is that that is eliminated as much as possible so that the players can go out and play,” added Logie.

“At this point in time, it is very difficult to change techniques and to change people. We are trying to change their attitude, that is what we are trying to introduce, an attitude that says I want to play for West Indies.

“I am committed to play for the West Indies and at the end of the day, the skill level will show,” Logie reasoned.

“We are playing against the best team in the world but when you look at the positives, 252 runs behind and still coming out and letting them bat again,” Logie said as he reflected on the team’s performance in the first Test.

“It is a positive for us and I think when you look at the squad in itself, not criticising the squad but we still are without some of our key players,” Logie conceded.

“We are hoping that when the team is fully together, we will be able to put up a better performance,” added Logie.

“At the end of the day, I cannot control what the Australians can or can’t do. We can control what we can do and we have identified areas where we believe that we need to work at and strengthen at this point in time.

“I think that is the area that we, as management and players, believe needs the most work. Team spirit needs to be improved and I believe that’s what we are working on, step by step,” Logie contended.

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