West Indies ring changes

HARARE - THE West Indies have rung the changes in their coaching department ahead of next month’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe.

Respected bowling coach Roddy Estwick has been sacked for the upcoming tournament after joining the team 20 months ago.

The 56-year-old’s replacement has not been named yet.

CWI president Dave Cameron said: “We are bringing in a different bowling coach and we will also solidify the batting.

“I’m not sure I’m at liberty to disclose the name of the coach … but he’s not from the region. Again, we want to bolster our bowling. I believe that if we have good bowlers, then whatever we get to make our batting will take care of that.”

West Indies will be the highest ranked side in the March 4-25 qualifiers, as they chase one of the two remaining spots at the 2019 World Cup.

The Caribbean side missed out on automatic qualification after they were ranked ninth in the ICC one-day rankings at the 30 September, 2017 cut-off date.

Only hosts England and the remaining top-seven ranked sides earned direct qualification.

Besides hosts Zimbabwe and the Windies, the other teams taking part in the qualifiers are Afghanistan, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.

Two more slots are still available for the qualifiers and they will be decided when the ICC World Cricket League Division Two concludes in Namibia on February 15.

Estwick joined the Windies management in May 2016, replacing the legendary former Windies fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose ahead of the tri-nations series in the Caribbean involving Australia and South Africa.

Throughout his tenure, the Barbadian has earned praise from players, with seamers like Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach crediting him with their recent development.

Gabriel snatched 44 wickets in Tests in a 15-month period ending last December while Roach, who returned to international cricket last August following a 19-month break, picked up 25 wickets in seven Tests.

However, West Indies endured a wretched run in New Zealand last December, failing to win a single game as they suffered 3-0 whitewashes in the Test and one-day series, and a 2-0 defeat in the three-match Twenty20 series.

The Caribbean bowlers struggled, dismissing the Black Caps just once in the two Tests.

Estwick was a member of the Windies management group headed by Australian head coach Stuart Law, and which also included team operations manager, Joel Garner; batting coach, Toby Radford; fielding coach, Ryan Maron; physio, CJ Clark and strength and fitness coordinator, Ronald Rogers.

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