King had mixed results during tenure - Gordon By Keith Holder
Guyana Chronicle
April 26, 2007

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC )– West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Ken Gordon says the results of outgoing head coach Bennett King were going “downhill” after a “mixed” period over the past year.

“My assessment of his performance certainly over the past year, up to about September, October, was that there were mixed results because we did do well,” Gordon told CMC CricketPlus in a wide-ranging interview a couple days prior to the announcement on Monday by the WICB that the 42-year-old had resigned.

“We did very well in fact in some of the games but since then things changed. They have gone downhill and his results have not been as good, but he certainly had a period prior to the end of last year when things went pretty well for himself and for the team.”

King, who took up his appointment in December 2004, will remain in office until May 31 to help set up a West Indies academy. His contract was due to expire in November.

In late January 2006, the WICB set up a four-member committee to carry out a job evaluation exercise on the high-priced coaching staff of King and his fellow Australians – assistant coach David Moore, physiotherapist Stephen Partridge and strength and conditioning coordinator Bryce Cavanagh.

The committee was headed by former Jamaica and West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Jackie Hendriks, who is president of the Jamaica Cricket Association.

He was joined by former West Indies opening batsman Desmond Haynes, who was then the first vice-president of the Barbados Cricket Association; former West Indies vice-captain Deryck Murray who is president of the T&T Cricket Board, and former Leeward Islands batsman Enoch Lewis, the vice-president of the Leewards Association.

Asked during last weekend’s interview if he was happy with the findings of the committee in light of constant calls in some quarters for King’s removal, Gordon remarked: “I thought it was a fair comment in all the circumstances.

“But when this severe analysis and condemnation was made of Bennett King, you had to remember that in that first year of his tenure, he’d had that team for only 22 days of coaching and my statement at the time was that whatever the facts may be about Bennett King and his strength as a coach, we have to bear in mind that he had only 22 days with those players and you can’t judge a man in that limited period of time.

“We had to have him over a longer period of time. He has since then been working together with the cricket committee and Clive Lloyd (the chairman) and there is ongoing evaluation.

Again my assessment of his performance certainly over the past year, up to about September, October, was that there were mixed results because we did do well,” the WICB president said.

King went into the job with a successful record. He came directly from his position as head of the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy in Australia, the leading institution of its kind in the world.

He joined the Academy after guiding the Australian State team Queensland to three consecutive championships from 1999-2000 to 2001-02.

King took over as West Indies head coach from former West Indies middle order batsman Gus Logie whose stint ended in success when Brian Lara’s team won the ICC Champions Trophy in England in September 2004.

When King was appointed, the WICB said he would have responsibility for all cricketing matters and his primary role would be to prepare the West Indies team for international competitions.

“He will also be involved in all areas of coaching and development of the game in the region in conjunction with the WICB’s Development Unit.

He will be a member of the selection panel with a casting vote and will be responsible for the selection of the final XI as well as determining strategies for the game.

It follows therefore that he will be accountable for the performance of the team and will be judged accordingly in relation to his contract,” the WICB said then.

After reaching the final of both the DLF Cup and the Champions Trophy limited-over tournaments in Asia last year, West Indies failed to advance to the Super Eight of the current World Cup, finishing in sixth position.