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Walsh surprised at sacking


(CMC) Sacked West Indies women’s head coach Courtney Walsh said he was disappointed with the timing and handling of his dismissal, but he was satisfied with the work he and the coaching team had put into the players.

Cricket West Indies announced on Tuesday their decision not to renew Walsh’s contract nor those of his assistant coaches, Robert Samuels and Corey Collymore.

“I was surprised at the time when I was told, but it was a job, and I was employed until the end of last month when I was told the contract won’t be renewed,” Walsh said from his native Jamaica on the Mason & Guest cricket talk show on Tuesday on VOB 92.9 FM in Barbados.

“The timing was very surprising. I would have much preferred to have known earlier, but that’s not my call… I got a message to call him (CWI director of cricket, Jimmy Adams) and I called him, and he told me the contract won’t be renewed.”

Walsh said he was in Antigua at the time when he was informed about the decision on March 30 during a conversation with Adams that was not lengthy because his fellow Jamaican was on tour with the West Indies men’s team at the time.

“It was difficult for him to sit and talk, but I thought seeing the CEO (Johnny Grave) was in Antigua at the time, he probably could have walked me through it, but that is how it is.
“I was also disappointed to find out that the other coaches were not going to be reinstated as well. I thought we were making some strides with the girls and the pool of players we had at the time. We suffered injuries to players at some crucial times, but we still fought through it, and I felt the coaches worked really hard in trying to get the best team we could on the park in tough times,” Walsh said.

“This was not the case unfortunately, but I was proud of the work and the effort the guys put in, and the energy they tried to bring to the team under trying conditions. Our pool of players was very limited and we did the best we could have done with what we had…The appraisal only six months ago, there was no indication that anything was going wrong, or we were not doing the best that we could.”

Walsh replaced interim head coach Gus Logie in October 2020, and under his guidance West Indies Women won 11, lost 17, and tied two of 32 ODIs, and won seven, lost 15, and tied one of 24 T20Is.

The most noteworthy performances for the West Indies Women under Walsh was home and away series wins against Pakistan, and a semi-final spot in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 New Zealand.

During his tenure, Walsh had to deal with the sudden retirement of world-rated all-rounder Deandra Dottin from international cricket, which he described as “a big loss”, and the absence of former captain Stafanie Taylor with injury.

“When we lost Deandra, we knew we lost a multi-dimensional player that could do everything. She could bat, bowl, and field, and that was a big loss. To add salt into the wound, we lost Stafanie Taylor in the home series against New Zealand (last October).
“In the ODIs, she made 51 and retired hurt (in the last match), but she could not play again for us until the World Cup, so you have lost two world-class batters that have been the backbone of the batting for a number of years,” Walsh conceded.

“No one else came through in the regional tournaments, so the only other place that we could look was the Under-19 level at the World Cup for any emerging players, which is what we are trying to put in place now.”

Sweeping losses in a home ODI and T20I series against England, and a T20I tri-series with India and hosts South Africa, as well as the team’s early exit from the ICC Women’s T20I World Cup 2023 South Africa this past February suggested however, there were signs that a change may have been needed.


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