By Carlena Knight
Newly-appointed bowling coach of the West Indies team, Kenny ‘Flipper’ Benjamin, said that he is quite confident with the level of bowling attack that the team has as they gear up for their tour of Zimbabwe.
Benjamin was speaking about the players on Friday on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show.
“When you look at the bowling line-up, you have Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, you have Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, then the three spinners, I believe it is a competent line-up. I think it is a very good line-up as a matter of fact, and once the guys deliver and stick to the plan, I believe it is a quite potent bowling attack,” Benjamin said.
The team landed in the South African country earlier this week ahead of a three-day warm-up match against a local side set for this weekend at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
West Indies will then play two Test matches against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, with the first Test running from 4 to 8 February, and the second match from 12 to 16 February.
All matches start at 10AM local time (4AM Eastern Caribbean/3AM Jamaica).
The last Test Series between Zimbabwe and the West Indies was also played at Queens Sports Club in October 2017. West Indies won the two-match Series 1-0, winning the first contest by 117 runs with the second Test ending in a draw.
The squad will then travel on to South Africa for West Indies’ last two matches in the current ICC World Test Championship (WTC) cycle with West Indies placed 6th in the current WTC and South Africa placed 4th.
Both sides have the opportunity to improve their position in the final table.
Following the Test Series, West Indies play South Africa in three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals.
Meanwhile, the former West Indies fast bowler spoke on his new appointment.
He revealed that he was quite reluctant in taking the job at first, but after some time, he signed on.
Despite choosing to accept the role, this is not a position Benjamin mentioned he wants to make permanent.
“Honestly, I really wasn’t interested. The High Performance will be back in Antigua and I felt that I started something really good with the young fast bowlers and I wanted to continue that, but he [Andre Coley] asked me and then I went to ask quite a few people who are close to me what they felt about it and so on, and I got some harsh words and it left me in a situation where I had to tell Coley ‘yes’, or I believe I would have been run out of Antigua,” he said jokingly.
“I would prefer to be working with under-19’s and with the academy given the fact that I understand what is required at the higher level, and I know some of the shortcomings that we as a region have; I believe I could better serve getting the guys ready to go up to that level. I think I can do more getting players ready, so at least, we have better quality at the franchise level and getting them better prepared for international cricket,” Benjamin explained.
Nevertheless, Benjamin has given his full commitment to the new job, one that he added may be a bit more of a mentorship role.
The former Leeward Islands fast bowler, travelled to Zimbabwe working alongside Assistant Coach, Rayon Griffith, current Head Coach of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who continues in his coaching role with the West Indies, and interim Head Coach Andre Coley.