One of all times greats of the game, Andy Roberts has slammed the West Indies team’s administration, claiming that the time has come for Cricket West Indies (CWI) to fire coach Phil Simmons and white ball captain Kieron Pollard. His statement comes following reports about the internal rift within the CWI.
Roberts, one of the most feared fast bowlers of the 1970s and 1980s, was particularly critical of Pollard’s performance, claiming that the Trinidadian had done nothing particularly noteworthy for West Indies cricket.
“We have to start looking now to build. I don’t see a building with Pollard now,” Roberts told Mason And Guest, a radio programme in the Caribbean. He even went so far as to imply that while the skipper had done exceptional things for his Twenty20 teams, he had not done so for the West Indies.
“Not now (time for building the team with Pollard at the helm). I think we have gone past that stage. We have tried Pollard for two years, and we still don’t have the success that we thought that we would have with Pollard. We need to (go) past him. We have to go past the T20 specialists that have not done anything for WI (West Indies). They may have done something special for the franchises that they played for not for WI. And this is not just now, this has been for a number of years,” Roberts said.
Pollard’s West Indies team has had a difficult time on the field recently. The West Indies failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Twenty20 World Cup last October-November, and one of their many dismal performances was a recent home loss to Ireland in an ODI series. Following that, Pollard’s squad was thrashed 6-0 by the Indian team in India last month (three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals).
Roberts also went on to criticise West Indies coach Simmons. “I don’t know if he should have got the job in the first place. I don’t think he has done anything that is working to keep him in his job. You first give him for two years and then assess his performance. He has been there for four years,” Roberts said.
CWI is yet to make any statements on the matter. Earlier this year, CWI President Ricky Skerritt had revealed that critics were seeking the dethronement of West Indies team captain Kieron Pollard and coach Phil Simmons from their positions.