Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2015 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 22, 2015
LONDON---West Indies bowling consultant
Sir Curtly Ambrose says his major aim
with the Caribbean side is to help them
return to playing with the passion and self-
belief, that characterized winning teams
of the past.
The legendary fast bowler, who grabbed
405 wickets in 98 Tests, said the current
Windies players possessed the skill set for
international cricket but needed to add con-
fidence and consistency to their game, if
they were to break out of their losing slump.
"The level of respect the guys have for
me it makes my job a little easier but I've
got to get them to play with some passion
and keep believing in themselves because
when you've been losing for so many years
it can be difficult to pick yourself up," Sir
Curtly told TalkSport Radio in a live studio
interview here where he was promoting his
new autobiography, Time To Talk.
"I intend to bring that passion and self-
belief that we can win games and that to
me is more important because they have
the skills and you have seen that from time
to time, but the consistency isn't there and
that's what I've been trying to get them to
West Indies are coming off an impressive
showing against England, where they man-
aged a 1-1 draw in the three-Test series
earlier this month.
They displayed plenty fight to draw the
opening Test in Antigua when they seemed
set for defeat and then produced a sterling
display in the final Test at Bridgetown, to
pull off a shock five-wicket victory inside
In between, they lost the second Test in
Grenada by nine wickets.
Sir Curtly said he had been impressing
on the team all along, the importance of
playing together in order to get positive
"I joined the team a year ago and that's
one of the things I have been preaching to
the guys. When you look at the lineup we
don't have any real superstars like before so
I've said to the guys that team unity is going
to make us better," Sir Curtly explained.
"We all have to play together as a team
and forget about big name players. I've tried
to drill into the guys that we are better than
we are showing and one of the things I keep
saying is that we maybe number eight on
the ICC rankings list, England are number
three but because a team is ranked higher
than you, doesn't mean they are the better
"It means they are more consistent, they
win more games and they win more series
so hence they go up the ladder. We can com-
West Indies are preparing to face Australia
in a two-Test series starting next month in
Sir Curtly Ambrose, left, signs a copy of his biography Time To Talk, for legendary West Indies teammate Sir Viv Richards. Seated is
former West Indies captain Courtney Walsh.
Sir Curtly wants passion,
confidence for WI
West Indies coach Phil Simmons has opened
the door for Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Sunil
Narine, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard to return
to the Test team, stating his intention to meet
them on their return from the IPL.
Bravo and Lendl Simmons had announced their
Test retirements, while Pollard took an "indefinite
break" from first-class cricket earlier this year. Russell
indicated he was not physically capable of playing
the long form and Narine has been sidelined due
to questions about his bowling action.
However Phil Simmons, who was appointed coach
in March and had a sturdy result in the home series
against England, is eager to see if he can encourage
a better relationship between the West Indies team
and the region's IPL participants.
Before his departure for the IPL, Bravo had sug-
gested he would like to return to the Test team.
"Obviously everybody wants to see those guys
playing Test cricket for the West Indies because
they are certainly good enough to play that format,"
Phil Simmons said.
"I'm not aware of Bravo's statement, but I haven't
spoken to any of them since I became coach. I hope
to sit down with them and discuss my, and the
selectors, vision for how we want West Indies to
play Test cricket going forward and how they possibly
fit into that.
"I can't rule anybody in or out of consideration
until I do so."
It remains to be seen whether these discussions
can take place quickly enough to allow any of the
quintet to be part of the team to face Australia in
two Test matches next month.
Phil Simmons felt that the WICB should look to
the likes of New Zealand for an example of forming
a better relationship between IPL-contracted players
and the West Indies team. New Zealand have accept-
ed that the financial rewards on offer to IPL players,
relative to their international income, requires a
degree of flexibility to allow them to take part in
both. Phil Simmons said he had also discussed the
future with Shivnarine Chanderpaul ahead of the
Australia series, though he did not divulge their
for IPL quintet
100 metres champion, Yohan
Blake, is back to full fitness
but says he will not be rush-
ing his comeback to interna-
Instead, the 25-year-old
plans to slowly work his way
back into competition shape
with the aim of being at his
optimum for next year's
Olympic Games in Rio de
"We're on a different plan.
He's fully healthy and 100 per
cent recovered, it's just getting
into competition shape now.
We're just trying to take our
time," the Jamaican's agent,
Cubie Seegobin, told the
Gleaner newspaper here.
"He's working like normal,
doing time trials, but we're
just trying to make sure what
happened the last two years
doesn't happen and don't rush
anything. So anything short
of the Olympics would be
Blake came to fore when he
won the 100 metres at the
2011 World Championships in
Daegu, becoming the youngest
ever World champion in the
event at age 21.
He stunned multiple-time
Olympic champion Usain Bolt
at the Jamaica National
Championships in 2012 before
copping silver in both sprints
behind Bolt at the London
Olympics a few months later.
However, his season the fol-
lowing year was thrown into
disarray because of injury and
an attempted comeback last
July ended in disappointment
when he pulled up during the
100 metres at the Glasgow
Grand Prix at Hampden Park.
Seegobin said Blake's train-
ing had been going well and
the athlete could be making
an appearance soon.
"Everything's going well.
He's training. We hope to do
something by the end of the
month, but we're not in any
rush for any competition or
any specific timetable," he
The IAAF World Champi-
onships is set for Beijing from
August 22-30. (CMC)
Fit-again Blake taking it slow as Rio beckons
BASSETERRE---Reginald Benjamin has been appoint-
ed head coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes on
a two-year contract, the Leeward Islands Cricket
Board has announced.
The 54-year-old, who was born in Antigua and
played for the Caribbean territory as well as for the
United States, will take up the post on June 1.
He was chosen from a shortlist of three candidates
and has been now charged with the responsibility of
lifting the Leewards from the doldrums of regional
"LICB is elated with Mr. Benjamin's appointment
as there is a definite match between his skill sets, knowl-
edge and behavioral competencies and his role as head
coach thereby making him ably qualified for the job,"
the board said in a statement.
"Mr. Benjamin has not been directly involved in Lee-
ward Islands cricket in recent times but he has followed
developments in LI cricket closely as was confirmed
by issue specific responses provided during the interview
Benjamin holds an English and Wales Cricket Board
Level Three coaching certificate and is currently based
in the United States where he ended a 12-year stint as
head coach of the South West Zone, USA Southern
California Cricket Association, in 2013. He has also
served as technical advisor, assistant coach and head
coach of the USA Under-19 World Cup teams.
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