Floyd Reifer replaces Richard Pybus as West Indies head coach
The two-time winners will open their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Nottingham on May 31.
Updated - Apr 12, 2019 1:00 pm
Just a handful of days ahead of the all-important World Cup, West Indies have sacked Richard Pybus as their head coach while announcing their former plater Floyd Reifer as the replacement. Pybus had taken over the role earlier this year, leading the Caribbean outfit to Test series win over England and a 2-2 draw in the succeeding ODIs. The Jason Holder-led side, however, had lost the T20I series 3-0.
Pybus’ appointment had caused a huge furor as several former players and officials had objected to it. Leewards Islands Cricket Board had accused that Pybus was “handpicked” by Dave Cameron, the former Cricket West Indies president. But ever since Ricky Skerritt has replaced Cameron as the president, things are changing drastically as he eyes to reignite the passion for cricket in the region.
Reifer played six Tests, eight one-day internationals and one Twenty20 for West Indies between 1997 and 2009 before moving into coaching. Reifer has previously served as an interim coach for the national team, guiding the team to a T20 series win over Bangladesh. He also coached the West Indies A side in addition to leading the Combined Campuses and Colleges side to victory in the regional 50 over tournament in 2018.
“Up to the end of 2018 Floyd Reifer had been identified as the outstanding emerging local coach,” Skerritt told a news conference in Antigua. “He displayed this by leading the West Indies A team successfully, including victories against the England Lions, and ended the past year by coaching the Senior men’s team to a T20 series win in Bangladesh,” added Skerritt.
Changes in the selection panel
In another big change, Skerritt has overhauled the selection panel too. Robert Haynes has replaced Courtney Browne as interim head of selectors. Several senior players had fallen out of favor with the Browne-led panel as it had made it mandatory for the players to play in domestic competition in order to be considered for selection.
“We have found it necessary to immediately adjust our selection policy to become more open, inclusive, and player-centric,” Skerritt said. “I am therefore pleased to confirm that we have terminated the old embedded selection policy which secretly, but actively, victimized some players and banished them from selection consideration,” he added.
Skerritt also said selectors would be allowed to pick all players who make themselves available and thus one can expect a strong West Indies team in the World Cup. The two-time winners will open their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Nottingham on May 31.