Pollard Appointment Backward Step, Says Sir Andy

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Fast bowling legend Sir Andy Roberts has questioned the timing of Kieron Pollard’s appointment as white-ball skipper and argues that sacked one-day skipper Jason Holder was not at fault for the West Indies’ wretched one-day form in recent years.

In fact, the outspoken Antiguan believes that neither Pollard’s appointment nor the acquisition of a new head coach will have any impact on the Caribbean side’s fortunes, as the fundamental problem lay in the dearth of quality players available.

“A captain is only as good right now as the players he has,” Sir Andy told the Mason and Guest radio cricket show in Barbados.

He added: “I have no issues with what they’re (Cricket West Indies) trying to do but I’ve always said that the least problem we have is the coaching, our biggest problem is to find players. 

“It doesn’t matter who you have as head coach – if you could bring the best head coach in the world today with the players that we have you’ll be getting the same results because the coach does not go on the field.”

CWI announced Monday that Pollard would take over from Holder and Twenty20 skipper, Carlos Brathwaite, with immediate effect.

Also, the regional governing body said it had formally begun the recruitment process for a new permanent head coach to fill – on a temporary basis – the role currently being performed by ex-West Indies batsman Floyd Reifer.

It was Pollard’s elevation to the ODI captaincy, however, which made the headlines. Age 32, the Trinidadian has not played a single one-dayer in the last three years.

Further, he boasts an unflattering batting average of 25 with the bat from 101 ODIs with three hundreds, while taking 50 wickets with his slow medium at nearly 40 runs apiece.

“He’s [32]. [When] the next ODI [World Cup] comes around he will be 36, 37. We should be looking to get good players [around 23]. As usual, we’re always looking backward,” Sir Andy pointed out, adding that Pollard should have been given the captaincy five years ago when Holder was appointed.

“They should have made him (Holder) understudy to Pollard [back then]. Once they gave him (Holder) the captaincy and they stuck to it, then I don’t see the reason to go back to Kieron Pollard now.”

Holder failed to win a single series during his tenure and also oversaw West Indies’ worst-ever showing at a World Cup, last July, when the side finished ninth of 10 teams with just two wins.

Sir Andy said CWI should have persisted with the 27-year-old Holder but afforded him the benefit of an experienced coaching staff.

“What are they basing Jason Holder’s captaincy on? Results or tactics on the field? If we’re going to be building and looking towards the future, I think you should stick with a younger captain who is in there for three, four years,” Sir Andy contended.

“What they should have done is give him (Holder) the experience that is required with the coaching staff. That’s what they should have done. Are they blaming Jason’s captaincy for the results we’ve been having? If we don’t have good cricketers, those are the results we’re going to get. It doesn’t matter who is in charge as captain or who’s in charge of coaching. 

“I think our problem is that we’re not developing good cricketers. There is not enough pressure placed on players for personal development and I’ve been saying that for the last 10, 15 years. If these guys don’t take the opportunity to develop themselves, we are going to be stuck where we are.”

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