West Indies getting rid of Ottis Gibson as coach was not surprising considering their poor recent results but the timing, as usual, was a little bizarre.
The West Indies Cricket Board announced on Tuesday it had “mutually agreed to terminate their association” on the eve of the one-day international against Bangladesh. West Indies won by three wickets, but the main talking point was Gibson’s departure. Bangladesh are such a weak team that West Indies at home should not lose under any circumstances. The board should have parted company with Gibson a week earlier to avoid distractions.
The second one-day international is in St. Georges, Grenada on Friday.
West Indies will play three ODIs, a Twenty20 international and two Test matches against Bangladesh.
Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson has taken over in the interim.
Only six months ago Gibson signed a new three-year contract although he was getting offers to earn far more with county sides in England where he used to be the bowling coach for the national side.
Gibson, 45, restored some respectability with the West Indies during his four-year tenure, the best achievement being the International Cricket Council Twenty20 title two years ago.
Although Gibson won nine of 36 Tests with the West Indies and won four Test series – two against Bangladesh and one against Zimabwe – overall Test standards were poor against better opposition.
West Indies lost back-to-back series to New Zealand recently and they currently sit eighth on the ICC Test rankings, ahead of only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
West Indies are only eighth on the one-day international rankings and seventh on the T20 rankings.
Theo Cuffy, technical director of the Cayman Islands Cricket Association, is not surprised that Gibson had to go, but he does not expect things to improve much.
Cuffy advocates the players getting involved in more 40 and 50 over games and four-day regional matches to improve their Test performances.
But there is little incentive to do that because many West Indies batsmen earn a fortune playing almost exclusively T20 games which are so lucrative.
“Once again, not enough thought is going into improving our situation,” Cuffy said. “There are so many prima donnas in the team who are already so rich from playing T20 that they are not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices. They don’t seem to care about playing for the West Indies anymore.
“But they should not bite the hand that feeds them.”
Cuffy wants to see an improvement in Test and one-day batting standards in time for next year’s World Cup tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
He added that he expects Gibson to get a coaching position with an English county side.