“The start of new approach…” Sammy named WI white-ball coach, while Coley leads Test team

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced the appointment of two-time ICC T20 World Cup champion player and captain Daren Sammy as head coach for its One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) teams.

Sammy, 39, will take West Indies into next month’s three match series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah before steering the regional outfit at the ICC 2023 Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

Then West Indies’ captain Daren Sammy poses with the World T20 cricket trophy in Kolkata on 4 April 2016.
(Copyright AFP 2016/ Dibyangshu Sarkar)

Sammy, who had his first coaching stint in Pakistan just three years ago and led St Lucia Kings to third in the 2022 CPL competition, told CWI Media that he is ready and excited for the challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity, especially looking at the players we have and the impact that I believe I can have in the dressing room,” said Sammy. “I believe I will bring the same approach as I had as a player: the passion, the desire for success, and my undying love for West Indies cricket.

“When I look around there is an abundance of talent, and what I saw in South Africa in the white ball matches under new captains Shai Hope and Rovman Powell and the leadership provided by Andre Coley, there is great belief that we can do well.

“I’m looking forward to imparting my knowledge, my tactical acumen, my communication skills and my man-management skills. I get excited about putting the plans together and seeing the players execute them.”

Andre Coley, who has operated as interim head coach since the departure of Phil Simmons last October, will retain control of the West Indies Test and ‘A’ Teams. The appointments mark the first time that West Indies cricket will have specialist red ball and white ball coaches.

Former CWI Academy head coach Andre Coley.
(via CWI Media)

The proposal to split the coaching duties was put forward in January by an independent three-member World Cup Review Group, which was chaired by Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court judge Patrick Thompson Jr and included West Indies legend Brian Lara and former South Africa cricket coach Mickey Arthur.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave said Coley and Sammy are “well equipped for their roles” and are expected to “bring different perspectives, skills and real passion to the West Indies dressing room”.

The coaching appointments, according to a CWI release, followed an “open and transparent interview process” and were confirmed at yesterday’s CWI Board of Directors meeting.

Grave said the decision to split coaching jobs between the red ball and white ball teams is a momentous one.

West Indies T20I wicketkeeper Shai Hope (left) attempts to run out Pakistan batsman Mohammad Rizwan during T20I action at the Karachi National Stadium.

“The introduction of separate coaches signals the start of a new approach for the West Indies Men’s Teams,” said Grave, “and we know it will enable greater focus on player communication, team planning and preparation to the benefit of our players and West Indies cricket.”

Coley, 48, described his new full-time job as an honour and said he looks forward to “working with all our stakeholders, deepening relationships and fostering a high-performance mindset”.

His first assignment will be the two-match Test Series against India in the Caribbean in July.

“I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities as we sharpen our focus on moving up the Test rankings, and qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June 2025,” said Coley, a former Jamaica wicket-keeper/batsman who coached at all levels in West Indies cricket.

West Indies allrounder Kyle Mayers (third from left) is congratulated by teammates as he ripped through the England top order during day three of the Third Test in Grenada on 26 March 2022.
(via Sportsbrief)

“[…] I am also excited to be working closely with the ‘A Team’ as we seek to optimise opportunities for teams to play competitive cricket outside of our first-class competition and giving players greater exposure to different conditions at the international level.

“I believe that my expertise in the use of analytics, my leadership style and technical knowledge along with collaborative efforts alongside Daren, will make a positive contribution to player development and team performances.”

The CWI has already started its recruitment process for a new West Indies Women’s team head coach, with the deadline for applications set for Wednesday 17 May.

The procedure to replace Coley as head coach of the West Indies Academy will be “announced at a later date”.

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One comment

  1. “I believe that my expertise in the use of analytics, my leadership style and technical knowledge along with collaborative efforts alongside Daren, will make a positive contribution to player development and team performances.”

    In international cricket too, you get what you are able to pay for, both in the team and in the backroom.

    If “expertise in the use of analytics” is what we can afford, let us hope for the best but prepare ourselves for more low-budget performances

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