Coley, Sammy named new men’s head coaches

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy gestures during their One-Day International Cricket match against Australia in Canberra, Australia.
Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy gestures during their One-Day International Cricket match against Australia in Canberra, Australia.
Associated Press / Rob Griffith, file

Former West Indies Captain Darren Sammy and former Jamaica wicket-keeper and batsman, Andre Coley have been chosen and accepted the responsibility of coaching the West Indies Men’s senior team for the foreseeable future.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) made the announcement recently that Sammy, a two-time Twenty20 World Cup winning captain, will guide the team in the white ball One-day International (ODI) and T20 Internationals (T20 I), and Coley will direct them in the Test format, while also being in charge of the “A” Team.

The decision to promote Coley who was the interim head coach after the resignation of Phil Simmons and hand an opportunity to Sammy over 20 others, including teammate Shivnarine Chanderpaul and applicants from South Africa and Sri Lanka, was taken during a virtual directors meeting of CWI recently.

With little time to get comfortable, Sammy’s first assignment will be the three-match ODI Series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Sharjah in June, just ahead of the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe. Coley’s first assignment will be the two-match Test Series against India in July.

Former West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons.
Former West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons.Associated Press / Arnulfo Franco/File

Sammy 39, led the West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016. Since then, he has gone into coaching, taking charge of Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League in 2020 and St Lucia Kings in the last season’s edition of the Caribbean Premier League.

He said, “It will be a challenge but one that I ‘m ready for and excited about. 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. 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 management skills. I get excited about putting the plans together and seeing the players execute them.”

Coley served as the interim head coach for the recent Test series in Zimbabwe and the multi-format tour of South Africa.

He said, “I am honoured to be appointed West Indies Men’s Head Coach of the red ball team after serving in the interim role on the Zimbabwe and South Africa tours. I am looking forward to the challenge 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.

“I also look forward to working with all our stakeholders, deepening relationships and fostering a high performance mindset. 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 performances.”