Head coach to be responsible for West Indies cricket team
Stabroek News
July 18, 2004

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(WICB) St John's, Antigua - A proposed new structure for the West Indies cricket team will see the Head Coach as the main person held responsible for the performance of the team.

West Indies Cricket Board President, Teddy Griffith, revealed elements of the proposal at the 48th Anniversary dinner of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board at the Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre on Friday night.

In delivering the feature address, Mr Griffith said the Board, in searching for answers and for a way forward, appointed a committee headed by Val Banks, Vice-President, to look at the management structure of the West Indies team and to develop a model that could drive the team on to a consistently successful path. He acknowledged that the decline of the team had been steep but said he was heartened by the recent performance in the NatWest Series in England where the West Indies reached the final.

However, he said, "through experience, we all know that there still is a long way to go before we ascend the heights of the late 70s, 80s and early 90s."

Griffith said the committee had proposed to the Board not only a new management structure for the operations of the West Indies Cricket team but also a fresh approach including a re-assessment of the role and function of selection committees.

The proposals, he said, had been approved in principle by the directors of the WICB at the last board meeting held on 18-19 June in Georgetown, Guyana.

The proposed structure, which is still being finalised, calls for distinct and discrete roles for the manager, coach, captain and selectors and provides for clear reporting lines and accountability.

The Head Coach, he said, would be on contract and his primary role would be to prepare the West Indies team for international competitions. He would also be a member of the selection panel with the casting vote and the principal authority on the selection of the final XI, the WICB President said.

"It follows therefore that he will be accountable for the performance of the team and will be judged accordingly in relation to his contract," Griffith added.

The Team Manager would become a full time employee of the WICB whose responsibilities would not be limited to the West Indies team while it is on tour but would include the coaching staff and all contracted players, Griffith said.

The Manager would be the point of contact with the WICB Secretariat for the services the team unit would need including finance, marketing, communications, operations, transportation and development.

"He must also ensure," Griffith said, "that the entire unit conforms to the policies of the WICB including the Code of Conduct. He is therefore the representative of the Board in the team unit."

The WICB President said the changes would also encompass the Selection Panel, which would consist of four members including the Head Coach and a Convenor. The Convenor of Selectors will be responsible for determining the roster of his fellow selectors and scheduling the meetings of the Panel, he added.

When the contract system is finally instated, Griffith said, the Selectors would be responsible for nominating the players who should be retained and would also recommend a captain and vice-captain for consideration by the Board as is the case now.

"Under the proposed system, the Selectors would be appointed by the Board upon the recommendations of the Cricket Committee Playing in consultation with the Manager of the team and with nominations from the Member Boards," he said.

To assist in this exercise, criteria had been drawn up upon which nominations would be based including playing experience at Test or First-Class level and sound analytical skills, Griffith stated.

The Captain would lead the team on the field and carry out the strategy and tactics as determined in collaboration with the Head Coach, Griffith said.

"There will always of course be flexibility as circumstances might alter cases but the overall strategy would have been pre-determined and he would be implementing them, the WICB President added.

In brief, he said, the selectors would choose a squad, hand it over to the coach who in consultation with the captain would select the final XI. The manager would have the responsibility for all administrative matters, the coach for all cricketing matters.