'For personal growth'
Richardson explains reason for leaving Tallawahs for TridentsTuesday, July 28, 2020
BY SANJAY MYERS
ANDREW Richardson says his departure from Jamaica Tallawahs for this season's Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament had nothing to do with him falling out with the franchise.
The Jamaican served as player, and later team manager and bowling coach during a successful time with the Tallawahs between 2013 and 2019.
For the upcoming season he has agreed to bring his management and coaching skills to CPL champions Barbados Tridents, a move he thinks will further his career development.
“Jamaica is always home, but it was a personal decision. It had nothing to do with any bad relationship with anyone at the Tallawahs at all,” Richardson, 38, told the Jamaica Observer recently.
“It's just me looking to better myself as a coach, and an opportunity presented itself and I thought it was just very good for me and that's just how it is,” he said during a telephone interview.
Richardson, the former Jamaica fast bowler who claimed 192 wickets at 23.96 in 68 first class matches, was a Tallawahs player when they won the CPL Twenty20 (T20) championship in 2013.
He was team manager when they captured their second CPL title in 2016.
There were ups and down outside of those trophy-winning campaigns, but last year the results were particularly dreadful. The franchise won only two of 10 preliminary matches to place last in the competition.
Richardson conceded that the 2019 CPL was a harrowing experience.
“It was disappointing. Last season was embarrassing for me; it was stressful. It's hard to be in an environment where the team is struggling and you're trying your best to support the guys, to get the guys up and get them to perform at optimal levels, and it just didn't happen.
“Nobody likes to lose, nobody plays to lose, [and] nobody plans to lose. Obviously, we didn't play to our full potential last season. We had contributing factors — a couple of our top all-rounders [Andre Russell and Rovman Powell] went down [injured] early in the competition and the guys that came in didn't give us the sort of production that we wanted,” he explained.
He added: “I'm a competitor. For the years I played I always wanted to win, and nothing has changed now that I'm working as back room staff.”
In the build-up to this season, superstar batsman Christopher Gayle, who captained the Tallawahs to both titles, was at the centre of a public spat with the franchise ownership which he said lacked transparency in the events which led to his departure.
Days after Gayle's outburst, the champion all-rounder Russell also went public. He gave further evidence of disarray when he blamed the Tallawahs management for communication shortcomings.
News also emerged of team management and coaching changes, including Richardson's move to the Tridents.
But he insisted that the relationship between him and the Tallawahs hierarchy remained intact. He said Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller had asked him not to leave.
“The Tallawahs are family and no family will be perfect — you'll have your disagreements as was clearly played out in the media, but the family still remains. It didn't really impact my decision; it was more my personal growth — I thought this move would have certainly benefited me.
“In my meetings with the CEO he made it clear that he wanted me to come back. I just basically told him I thought it is time for me to see what's happening with another franchise. When I relayed the message to him that I decided to go to Barbados he was really disappointed, but he eventually gave it his blessing and wished me all the best,” Richardson told the Observer.
The 2020 CPL was scheduled to be staged across venues in the region between August 19 and September 26, but changes were forced due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The rescheduled tournament is to be hosted in Trinidad and Tobago from August 18 to September 10. All matches are to be played behind closed doors at Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain and Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.