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Richardson: Chemistry key to WI success

If West Indies regain any semblance of their former glory days, much of the resurgence might be traced to the chemistry that seems to exist among captain Darren Sammy, coach Ottis Gibson and manager Richardson.

“Since I have been here, there is certain improvement, in terms of commitment. Players are buying into what the coach has to offer. It is paying off. [They are] working harder and with more commitment,” Richardson said in a recent interview.

Richie Richardson.

The former dynamic middle-order batsman who now spends most of his time dealing with logistical and managerial issues, said he still tried to spend time talking to players as well. “I like the idea of working with younger players, paying attention to them. I make sure they do the right thing.

“I hope we can really rise again. I believe we can. We have dominated world cricket for a long time and we had a lull. I think it is about time we came back.”

Richardson said working with Sammy was easy. “He often asks me questions, and I feel free to discuss bowling, batting and captaincy. It is very important for captain, coach, manager and senior players to have a good relationship. Sammy works well with anybody, always smiling and open, approachable.”

Richardson added it was nice for captains to have a large support staff at their disposal, a luxury he didn’t enjoy during his captaincy years.

“Captaincy is always tough but if you want to compare between my time and now, I was a player, captain, father, counsellor, coach, everything. It is easier for players with the support staff these days. Everything is more controlled, [we have] several coaches, we have everything available now, but back then we had nothing. We had to do everything based on memory. Things are better. That’s how it should be, because the game is becoming more and more professional and you have to do these things to [keep up] with the rest of the world.”

Gibson said he appreciated the “tremendous” support he receives from Richardson. “He has been brilliant for me to bounce ideas off. His attention to detail, in terms of touring, the movements of the team, the logistics of the team, is second to none.”

But Richardson is not your everyday team manager. In Bangladesh he strutted out of the airport and declared the team had arrived to win everything on the tour. And though West Indies lost the ODI series, their improvement didn’t go unnoticed.

Richardson also offers advice to batsmen and slip fielders, though not often. Gibson, in fact, welcomes Richardson’s input.

“He’s a Level 3 coach in his own right,” Gibson said. “He spends time talking to the young players, especially about batting in Test cricket. He was one of the best slip fielders West Indies ever had, so to be able to offer advice to the guys, he gets involved in some of the practices.” (Cricinfo)

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