Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies
Cricket West Indies is taking full advantage of the unique opportunity to utilize the Sandals Tour of England 2020 as a high performance environment for the playing and reserve squad as well as preparation to retain the coveted Wisden Trophy #raisethebat Test Series.
CWI Vice President Dr Kishore Shallow and Director of Cricket (DoC) Jimmy Adams spoke on the potential cricket benefits for the 25 players to enhance their games alongside the region’s elite coaches.
“As a cricket fan, I am happy that there will soon be live international cricket, and as a CWI administrator, I am delighted for the development opportunity this tour provides for so many of our young players. This in my opinion should be paramount in the eyes of all stakeholders of West Indies Cricket, for this tour”, said Shallow after the team completed its first week of training in their bio-secure training camp at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, England. “Consider if we were to set up the ideal training camp for our elite cricketers and how that would look. Think of how much value this three week pre-series preparation period can add to our quality of cricket and how timely this is under the abnormal COVID-19 circumstances, not to mention the challenging financial situation for CWI. “So while the pandemic has impacted on many aspects of the CWI Cricket First program, this delayed tour to England may also turn out to be a blessing for it too. It now becomes a tremendous opportunity for our cricketers to actually live and train in a high performance environment for almost two months under the close watch of Phil Simmons and his team of experts. I expect every player, barring injury, to come back to the region a much improved cricketer.”
When Cricket West Indies held its first ever Coaching Forum in January as Head Coach Phil Simmons and all of domestic teams coaches met for first time, it ticked off both the new administrations “10 point Cricket First plan” initiative for modernizing regional coaching and DoC Adams’ aim to allow the newly appointed Coaching Development Manager, Chris Brabazon, to have his first meet-up with the regional coaching fraternity.
Adams further elaborated saying:
“While the worldwide pandemic has had some negative effects on the game regionally, this current situation of having a larger group of players exposed to our international support team over such an extended period is a definite positive. “We certainly would not have had a two month window in the current ICC Future Tours Program (FTP) to do it, so now that it will last that long this could create a working blueprint to use in the Caribbean for such high performance initiatives.”
Reflecting on the first week benefits, Simmons said:
“It’s something that has been trusted upon us and sometimes you look at it and think if Cricket West Indies was at the stage financially to afford it, this would be great for us going forward.You have this squad on tour where you have proper bowlers to bowl in the nets and backups right there. “Overall this is an excellent start. I think a lot of the younger players who would not have understood the difference between regional and international cricket are understanding now because of the way we are training. “It’s a great message and understanding from their point of view of what it takes to be an international cricketer. I’m loving the fact that these youngsters are getting to understand that and hopefully they carry it back and let all the other players know, who haven’t been on a West Indies tour.”
President Ricky Skerritt also sees benefits from the COVID-19 travel restrictions
. “This will be the first time since I was team manager 16 years ago, that the accompanying management team comprises all West Indians on the ground. Indian data analyst AR Srikkanth, will be operating remotely with batting coach Monty Desai, unable to travel from India to join the Squad. This will also be a learning experience for the coaching staff. “This world situation has led to the unique environment which provides opportunities for our players and coaching staff to develop and learn with the overall aim to develop West Indian talent and expertise to help move our cricket teams back up the global rankings ladder.”
Team Management: Phil Simmons (Head Coach), Rawl Lewis (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach), Floyd Reifer (Batting Coach), Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Denis Byam (Physiotherapist), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist), Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist), A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst) and Dario Barthley (Media & Content Officer).