Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2013 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 30, 2013
AHMEDABAD---David Williams, the former West Indies
wicketkeeper, might not have enjoyed massive success
in his playing days, but has solidly established himself
as the most successful coach of Trinidad and Tobago.
Williams had 42 victims in 11 Tests and 45 in 36 One-
Day Internationals during an international career that
spanned ten years, taking relentless pressure in his short
In a candid chat with WISDEN INDIA, Williams goes
down memory lane as he talks about his stint with the
West Indian side, and talks at length about where cricket
in the Caribbean is headed.
Here are some excerpts:
You were a part of perhaps the last dominant West
Indies side. It must have been quite an experience, shar-
ing the dressing room with several legends.
It was really special. I got to learn a lot when I got into
the side in 1988. Viv Richards was the captain, and we
had guys like Dessie Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Jeff Dujon
and Gus Logie, those guys are legends.
They all treated me like a kid since I was the shortest
of the lot and also the youngest.
Just to be around Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose,
Courtney Walsh was a different feeling. I learnt so much
just being in the same dressing room as these legends
and it is one of the reasons I m a coach now.
I apply whatever I gained from them during my playing
days in my coaching role.
Your Test debut was historic, West Indies first ever
Test against South Africa. Your memories of that game?
I ve got a lot of good memories. It was our first game
against South Africa after their re-admission into inter-
national cricket. Apart from the historical significance,
the game in Bridgetown unfolded quite well.
We had got ourselves in a tricky situation and were
about to lose the match. I think South Africa needed 70-
odd runs, they had a lot of wickets in hand --- eight wickets
if I m not wrong.
But then Ambrose and Walsh came to the party and
pulled off what we considered a miracle. To come from
behind and win a match like that was really tremendous.
You kept to some of the greatest fast bowlers the
game has seen. Who do you reckon was the best among
It ll be Curtly Ambrose. They are all different in their
ways. Malcolm Marshall was a great bowler too. He had
the ability to swing the ball both ways, his control was
But Ambrose made good use of his height and put the
ball in the right areas more often than not.
He always kept me nervous behind the stumps, because
you d have to be guessing which way the ball would move.
In your third Test, you held on to a great diving catch
to dismiss Mark Waugh off Ambrose s bowling. Would
you say it was your best effort behind the
That catch was very special. I didn t have a
particularly good game. I had dropped Mark
Waugh and Allan Border at crucial points. And
both went on and scored centuries.
That was a pretty good catch; it gave me a
lot of confidence.
After that Test you were out of the side for
five years. How did you cope with it?
Well, I d thank God for giving me the strength
to continue and for the belief that regardless of
the situation, one can always bounce back. It
was hard work, I never gave up.
I believed in myself and had faith in Him.
And fortunately for me, some of the keepers
they selected didn t do as well. So it was really
tremendous to make a comeback at the age of
35 and to achieve so many things that I did.
It just goes to show that age has nothing to
do with anything. If you have the hunger within
you and you are still up to compete, anything
Do you think there is enough competition
for the wicketkeeper s slot in the West Indies
side now compared to your time?
There is always competition. We ve had some
very good wicketkeepers in the past. (Denesh)
Ramdin right now is doing a fantastic job, he
is the best. We ve had competition in the past
too.Courtney Browne and Ridley Jacobs put a
lot of pressure on me not just with their keeping
but with their ability to bat. These guys were
better batters than I was, so it was very tough
But I ve always worked hard and given my
best for West Indies. Over the years, I ve seen
that in every team, one needs a keeper who
can score runs on a regular basis.
T&T have been the best side in the
Caribbean for many years now. What is the
reason for their consistency?
I ve been with these guys since 2004. Some
of the guys were teenagers. Just to come up the
ranks with them was great. We won in 2005,
2006 and then in 2007.
I took up a coaching assignment with the
West Indies team but my heart was always with
these guys. We sort of developed a legacy.
We worked extremely hard and played as a
team, we also played very hard against each
other while practicing. The intensity with which
we play is really remarkable.
We ve got a lot of talent. You need to have
talent and skill and we possess a lot of that.
We ve always stuck behind each other and played
as a complete unit, that s been our strength.
We are aware of each other s strengths and
weaknesses. We try to pep each other up and
give the encouragement one needs. It s like a
It becomes easy to relate to everyone in a
family and know what you should expect from
them. So this is really a family team.
How would you describe your stint as part
of the national coaching set-up?
I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the four and a half
years I spent with West Indies.
For most of that time, I was an assistant
coach. I did carry the team to Australia in 2009-
10 as the head coach, so that was a tremendous
experience. Just to be at the helm with these
top players, I loved my job.
After the World Twenty20 victory in 2012,
it was believed that West Indies would be back
on track, but the side seems to have stagnated.
What is the reason for that?
We did play quite well in Tests after World
T20, though it was against weaker sides like
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. But we are in a sit-
uation where we love T20 cricket.
West Indies is a passionate place, we love
our cricket, we love excitement, and we love to
make people happy.
In Twenty20 cricket, we ll always do well
because of the spirit we possess. In the four-
day or five-day scenario, it takes a little bit of
time to settle down and bat for long.
But all in all, our cricket looks good. I think
Ottis Gibson (the national coach) has done a
fantastic job so far to try and get the team to
this stage. Kudos to him for what he has done.
I ve been a part of it as well. I think we are
on an upward curve and have some young play-
ers that are coming through, so that s going to
carry West Indies cricket further.
If you look at the other teams, they ve got
guys who are aging out. We still have a lot of
young talent who can carry the mantle.
What has been the impact of the Caribbean
Premier League on West Indies cricket?
The CPL was a big hit this year and we just
hope it ll go bigger next year. Some of the
younger guys getting to play at the highest level
against quality players will only do good for
West Indies cricket.
It s a good opportunity for the guys to rubs
shoulders with some of the greats like Murali
(Muttiah Muralitharan), (Ricky) Ponting and
others, and ensure that they learn as much as
Coach Williams: Ambrose was the best
David Williams.... had 42 victims in 11 Tests
and 45 in 36 One-Day Internationals
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