Shape up or ship out, Reifer!

Shape up or ship out, Reifer!

Thursday, August 08, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The West Indies has just concluded their three-match T20 series at home against India. It's a series they lost 3-nil — a result that may not come as a shock, but nonetheless very disappointing.

The disappointment was not only in the results but having watched the entire series it is safe to say the West Indies were outplayed in all departments and didn't really challenge India. This, for a T20 series, has to be really heart-rending for fans of West Indies cricket.

The West Indies team is coming off a very disappointing outing at the 2019 ODI World Cup and would have been looking to use this series to kick-start preparations for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in 2020. In the ODI World Cup, team strategy was found wanting, the blame for which should be laid squarely at the feet of the coaching staff, but if their selection and strategy in the ODI World Cup was bad, then what ensued in this T20 series can only be described as shambolic.

John Campbell played in the first T20 and, like the rest of the batsmen, save and except for Kieron Pollard batting at number four, failed with the bat. Campbell was dropped for the rest of the series as Sunil Narine was used to open the batting in his place. In the second T20, Rovman Powell came in to bat at number four and made a well-played half-century, but his efforts were in vain as West Indies lost the match via the Duckworth Lewis method.

In the final match of the series, Powell came in to bat at number six in the 14th over. For the third time in the series the batting line-up was altered; the chopping and changing left everyone mystified, there was no clear thought on which players were best suited for each batting position and it showed as the team failed to reach 150 in any of the matches.

Floyd Reifer took over a well-performing team, but since his ascendency to coach the team has been spiralling downwards. Is this lack of direction and thought what we are to expect from him and the rest of his coaching staff? One can only hope that sooner rather than later Reifer gets it right, and the upcoming ODI and Test series against India is the perfect place to start.

Having got used to winning in the early part of 2019, it is difficult for fans of the game to endure the consistent losses being experienced. It's time for Reifer and his team to shape up or ship out; all aboard!

Kemar Bogle

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