The recent announcement that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has decided to evaluate coach Bennett King is not in and of itself strange. What is strange seems to be the way in which the WICB has gone about arri8ving at this decision and what is says about the overall modus of the organisation.
In the past week the cricket news around the region was less about the current Carib Cup Tournament than the decision of the WICB to have a team of people do an investigative analysis of the performance of coach of the West Indies team, Australian Bennett King. The decision came as a surprise to many just as it was sudden.
Media reports indicate that it was the president of the Guyanese Cricket Board and WICB Board member, Chetram Singh, who insisted that King be assessed.
Many enthusiastic supporters of the game in the region and especially those from Trinidad and Tobago, have been particularly harsh on the WICB in the past two years for its failure to do an evaluation of King and his team since he took charge of the West Indies team.
Trinidad and Tobago cricket fans have long been lamenting the manner in which the WICB parted company with former coach, Trinidadian, Gus Logie, following the teams lone success in many years, when they won the ICC Champions Trophy in England a few years ago.
The argument of the Trinidadians suggests that if Logie was fired when the team attained its first international success in many years why then should we have to wait to fire an unsuccessful Australian coach.
Bennett King and his coaching team were employed by the WICB following the sacking of Gus Logie.
Unlike any previous coaching appointment in the history of West Indies Cricket, Bennett King got a sort of carte blanche mandate. He was allowed to bring along his entire staff, in a manner of speaking. He did not have any West Indian coach as his understudy, a situation already criticised by this columnist.
King and company have been given the most lucrative contract in WICB history as well.
Additionally, the WICB also took a decision some time ago to leave the captain out of the team selection process. The WICB went further still and decided to place all matters relating to the team during their tenure on the field of play in the hands, not of the captain as has been the case hitherto, but of the coach.
In a very real sense therefore Bennett King has been assigned a sort of overall leadership role of the preparation of the West Indies team that leaves him as the single most responsible individual for the teams performance on the field of play.