Sarwan questions process used to select West Indies Head Coach

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Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan is questioning the process used to select the West Indies Senior Men’s Head Coach for the white-ball teams, which ended with his former teammate Daren Sammy taking up the new role.

Sarwan, in a social media post on Wednesday, outlined that close to two dozen persons were interviewed for the position and quizzed how Sammy got the nod.

The former Guyana batsman and current Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel at the Guyana Cricket Board also called on Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dr. Kishore Shallow to explain the criteria/method used for the selection of the new coach.

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“Twenty (22) persons/coaches were interviewed for the white ball coaching position. However, two (2) were shortlisted. The big question is why were the other twenty (20) persons/coaches not made known to CWI directors, and also, why is this a big secret and is being kept away from cricketing public?” Sarwan posted.

“In the interest of transparency, those names should have been made available, at least to directors of CWI.”

Sammy and former West Indies Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul were the shortlisted candidates, with the latter boasting Level III certification.

Sammy, Sarwan highlighted, had “almost zero coaching qualifications.”

Sarwan believes the CWI President “has a professional and moral obligation to the Caribbean people and, without delay, (should) make public the criteria/method used for the selection of the coach.”

What Sammy said 

During a press conference after his appointment, Sammy said: “I’ve made it known- coaching was not something I aspired to do during my playing days, but it’s a role that actually chose me. I’m a work in progress. I am aware of all those things.”

“I understand the challenges ahead of me, but I also believe in the impact and the effect that I could have on this generation right now and I will not let my lack of a certificate stop me from taking on the challenges that I know that I’m equipped to handle,” Sammy added before clarifying that he has, in fact, began the process of attaining the certificate.

“I have already started the process to be certified and, during that process, working with the West Indies team, working with further developing myself as a coach in terms of the qualifications needed,” he said.

“Don’t think for one minute that I will ever question myself that I’m not fit to do this job,” Sammy added.

New coaches appointed

Sammy, who led West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles, has taken up responsibility of the T20I and ODI teams.

Andre Coley, who was West Indies’ interim coach after Phil Simmons had resigned, will be in charge of the Test and West Indies ‘A’ teams.

Sammy had applied only for white-ball job, according to Dr. Shallow, who took over from Ricky Skerritt as CWI president in March.

A panel of five, comprising CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams, Enoch Lewis, the board’s independent director, the board’s HR manager and Dr. Shallow, conducted the interviews.

Sammy’s first assignment will be a three-match ODI series against the UAE in Sharjah in June, which will form part of the preparations for the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe in June-July.

Sammy the coach

Sammy has coaching experience in the CPL and PSL, but this will be his first assignment in international cricket.

Sammy’s leadership skills, both as a captain and coach, were central to St Lucia Kings’ recent success in the CPL. In 2020, he beat the odds and captained an unfancied Kings side to the final, despite Chris Gayle pulling out of the season.

That final was Sammy’s last game in the CPL as a player. In CPL 2021, he was appointed Kings’ T20 cricket consultant and brand ambassador. He worked with coach Andy Flower as part of the backroom staff.

Last year, Sammy took over from Flower as head coach and led them to the Eliminator, where Kings lost to eventual champions Tallawahs.

Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, all-rounder Roston Chase and wicketkeeper-batter Johnson Charles were among the players who flourished under Sammy’s leadership at Kings.

At the PSL, Sammy had coached Peshawar Zalmi in 2020 and 2021 before being reappointed to the post for PSL 2023.

Sammy had been a mainstay for the franchise since PSL’s inception in 2016, and had been one of the more recognisable overseas faces of the league.

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