Cricket

Room should be found for Haynes, says legend Holding

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Legendary former West Indies speedster Michael Holding has urged Cricket West Indies (CWI) not to discard outstanding former teammate Desmond Haynes, but to absorb him into the coaching set-up of the men's team.

Haynes, a member of the legendary West Indies sides of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, missed out on becoming head coach of the regional side this week after CWI appointed his former opening partner Phil Simmons.

However, Holding contended that Haynes still has a valuable role to play. He said both CWI and Simmons needed to utilise his skills in order to enhance the struggling Caribbean side's development.

“I would hope that a lot of other people that applied for the job that they are qualified in some respect, especially those that made the shortlist,” Holding told the Line & Length cricket podcast.

“So I would hope that they (CWI) wouldn't just turn their backs and say 'Phil Simmons is the coach; that's it — the rest of you can just sit down and wait until something else comes up'.

“I would hope that Phil Simmons would look at the people who also applied and think to himself 'OK, I can use some of these people in my set-up. Let me try and get these people under my wing and help this West Indies team'.”

He continued: “Because Desmond Haynes certainly has good qualifications as far as being a batting coach is concerned. He has done it overseas … and I think Dessie knows enough about batting and has helped youngsters in the past with their batting, that a place could possibly [be found for him].

“But again that's up to [Cricket West Indies] and Phil Simmons how they want to go forward.”

Haynes and Simmons were part of a final three-man shortlist, which included Floyd Reifer. Former batsman Reifer served as interim coach once the Ricky Skerritt-led administration dispensed with the services of controversial Englishman Richard Pybus.

For Simmons, it will be his second stint in four years as West Indies coach. His first tenure ended dramatically in September 2016 after 18 months when he was sacked by the former Dave Cameron administration for what was described as “dif­fer­ences in cul­ture and strate­gic ap­proach”.

Holding, a leading television commentator, praised the move to appoint Simmons to the post again, especially considering his previous success.

“I can't say I was surprised when I heard he had applied for the job again … I was glad to know he hadn't turned his back and was still interested,” the Jamaican said.

“Whereever he has been, whether it has been domestic or international, I figured this is the right man for the job. [I would say] give it back to him, he did a good job while he was there for such a short period of time — give it back to him and see how things can develop from there and I'm glad that he got appointed.”

Simmons takes over a side which currently languish near the bottom of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings in all formats. In fact, they are coming off their worst-ever showing at an ICC World Cup where they won two of 10 matches and finished ninth of 10 teams.

And even with Reifer achieving very little success during his time in charge, Holding said it would be harsh to attribute the Windies failings solely to him.

“It was too short a period to really judge. He had the job for a very short period of time [and] West Indies didn't have a lot of positive results but at the same time you can't say that was his fault,” Holding pointed out.

“It's too difficult to judge someone over such a short period of time. As a coach, you take some time to develop a certain culture you would like inside the team and it would have taken a bit more time for it to really have a stamp on the team.”


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