BCA chief Riley lashes out at CWI over Pybus, Browne axing

Outspoken Cricket West Indies (CWI) director Conde Riley has slammed the regional governing body’s decision to axe the entire coaching staff of the men’s senior side ahead of the World Cup, and has warned that the sweeping personnel changes announced last week could “destabilise the whole process” heading into the ICC showpiece next month.

In a controversial radio interview here which revealed fractures within the CWI directorate, Riley said while new CWI president Ricky Skerritt was free to implement changes, he was not in support of making them so close to a major tournament and especially after West Indies’ outstanding results against England in the recent home series.

CWI last week removed interim head coach Richard Pybus and his support staff of Vasbert Drakes, Toby Radford and Esuan Crandon. Former West Indies batsman Floyd Reifer was named to replace Pybus, while Roddy Estwick, Corey Collymore and Rayon Griffith will serve as assistant coaches.

“It is not about the termination of Vasbert Drakes so much, but more importantly where the team is at this time having reclaimed the Wisden Trophy. England are number one in ODI cricket and we tied with them,” Riley said in a telephone interview.

Pybus was a controversial appointment last January, with CWI director Enoch Lewis publicly accusing former CWI president Dave Cameron of “hand-picking” the Englishman for the position without consulting the board.

However, Pybus then oversaw West Indies’ shock 2-1 win over England in the three-Test series last February and then guided the Caribbean side to a 2-2 draw in the five-match ODI series.

Skerritt, who toppled three-term incumbent Cameron at CWI elections last month in Jamaica, had warned prior to his assuming the top post that he was not in favour of the manner in which Pybus had been appointed.