‘It gave a West Indian the chance to shine’ – Skerritt stands by controversial World Cup coaching move
President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has insisted he has no regrets regarding the controversial move to replace the team’s regional head coach, just a few weeks before the 2019 World Cup, because it gave a West Indian the chance to shine on the world stage.
With less than two months to go before the tournament, Skerritt replaced then-interim coach Richard Pybus with Floyd Reifer. The move was opposed by many, at the time, not just for its potentially disruptive nature, but also the fact that Pybus was perceived to have done a good job with the team, particularly in a 2-1 Test series win against England in the Caribbean prior to the start of the tournament.
The West Indies went on to have a disastrous showing at the tournament, finishing second from the bottom of the table with two wins and six losses. Despite an inexperienced Reifer not going on to distinguishing himself in the role, Skerritt, in hindsight, still believes the decision was the correct one.
“I have no regrets because that was about promoting the West Indies A Team coach to give him an opportunity to go to England and to Ireland before then [the World Cup] and to show what he is worth and give him an opportunity to get the experience so that we could have at least one coach in our armoury that has World Cup experience and to give West Indians a chance to shine on a world stage,” Skerritt said on a recent edition of the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.
Former West Indies player Phil Simmons was officially appointed to the post of head coach two months after the conclusion of the World Cup.