BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The overwhelming interest shown in the position of head coach of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force should be viewed as a genuine interest in developing the game and not a grab for money, believes West Indies cricket legend Deryck Murray.
At the April 30 deadline for submission of applications, a total of 18 people had thrown their hats into the ring for the job advertised by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) on April 2. Among them were former coach Mervyn Dillon whose contract expired at the end of April and several applicants from outside the twin-island republic.
Speaking on the Mason & Guest radio programme on Tuesday night, Trinidadian Murray said he did not believe the competition for the job was solely related to pay.
“I’m sure it’s not that well-paid that you’d leave whatever you were doing to run and go to be the coach. But it’s just the thrill of being able to harness the talents of young people in any sport, and a sport you love, cricket,” said the 76-year-old who captained T&T from 1976 to 1981 and was vice-captain of the West Indies teams that won the 1975 and the 1979 World Cups.
“It’s a job that people would love and I think that’s why people are applying.”
However, Murray admitted being surprised by the number of overseas applications.
Among the non-Trinidadians who want the job are 38-year-old Barbadian and former West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, Pakistan Test batsman Atiq-Uz-Zaman, Sri Lankan Pasindu Liyanaarachichi, Asadullah Khan of Afghanistan, and Heinrich Malan of South Africa.
“You know you expect that if it was the Test match team or the Women’s West Indies team but I’m surprised that they had as many as 18 applications, but it just shows how many people want to be involved in cricket and that’s good for the game,” said Murray, who is now T&T’s High Commissioner to Jamaica.
The TTCB is expected to put a committee in place by the middle of this month to set up interviews with the applicants and provide recommendations.
The new coach will be responsible for cricket management of all players who are selected from time to time to represent the national team; facilitating the successful performance of the team through team building, morale boosting and confidence building techniques; determining and implementing strategies for the improvement of the technical skills of individual players and the team in general; determining strategies and tactics for facilitating the success of the team against opposing teams; providing leadership and good interpersonal relationships with other members of the management team, captain and other players so as to engender unity and a common objective.