Coley and Sammy appointed West Indies men’s head coaches
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Both admitting the “challenges” that lie ahead of them, former West Indies captain Daren Sammy and former Jamaica wicketkeeper-batsman Andre Coley have accepted the responsibility of coaching the West Indies Men’s senior team for the foreseeable future.
Though failing to disclose the length of tenure for the pair, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday that Sammy, a two-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning captain, will guide the team in the white-ball formats of One-day and T20 Internationals, and Coley will direct them in the Test format, while also being in charge of the “A” Team.
The decision to keep faith with Coley, who was the interim head coach across formats after the resignation of Phil Simmons, and hand an opportunity to Sammy over 20 others, including former teammate Shivnarine Chanderpaul and applicants from places as diverse as South Africa and Sri Lanka, was taken during a virtual directors meeting of CWI on Thursday.
Where Coley, 48, has the qualifications and a long track record of coaching at all levels in the Caribbean, Sammy, 39, has no certification and limited coaching experience in the Caribbean Premier League and the Pakistan Super League, but new CWI president Dr Kishore Shallow said there were other qualities that made him more than suitable.
“There’s a different set of criteria that you know don’t necessarily need to be a Level 3 [coach],” Shallow said during a virtual news conference following the announcement.
“It’s ideal, but when we [went] through the different assessments, he certainly qualified to be the head coach, which is why he was shortlisted in the first place and then he was interviewed by a panel of five.”
Sammy applied for only the white-ball job, Shallow added, and convinced the panel, comprising CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams, chair of CWI’s cricket committee Enoch Lewis, independent director Debra Coryat-Patton, CWI human resources manager Oneka Martin-Bird, and the president that he was the right man for the job.
Sammy will have little time to get comfortable in the job because his first assignment will be the series of three ODIs against the Unitd Arab Emirates next month in Sharjah, followed closely by a qualifying tournament in June-July in Zimbabwe for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup.
Only the top two teams from the qualifying tournament will advance to feature in the 10-team World Cup, which begins in October in India.
On his appointment, Sammy said: “It will be a challenge, but one that I’m ready for and excited about. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity, especially looking at the players we have, and the impact that I believe I can have in the dressing room.
“I believe I will bring the same approach as I had as a player: the passion, the desire for success, and my undying love for West Indies cricket.”
He said: “When I look around there is an abundance of talent, and what I saw in South Africa in the white-ball matches under new captains Shai Hope and Rovman Powell, and the leadership provided by Andre Coley, there is great belief that we can do well.
“I’m looking forward to imparting my knowledge, my tactical acumen, my communication skills, and my man-management skills. I get excited about putting the plans together and seeing the players execute them.”
Coley was interim head coach when West Indies visited Zimbabwe and South Africa earlier this year and had varying results, and he will have a little more time to get his plans right for the Test team, whose next assignment is not until India visits the Caribbean in July for a series of two Tests.
He will have less time on his hands with the “A” Team, which started a Tour of Bangladesh on Thursday, and will play three “Tests”, starting May 16, 23, and 30, under the leadership of Test wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva.
“I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities as we sharpen our focus on moving up the Test rankings, and qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June 2025,” Coley said.
“I also look forward to working with all our stakeholders, deepening relationships and fostering a high-performance mindset.”
He said: “I am also excited to be working closely with the ‘A’ team as we seek to optimise opportunities for teams to play competitive cricket outside of our first-class competition and giving players greater exposure to different conditions at the international level.
“I believe that my expertise in the use of analytics, my leadership style and technical knowledge along with collaborative efforts alongside Daren, will make a positive contribution to player development and team performances.”