ST JOHN’S, Antigua – There is a major concern that “significant high cost” could result from the appointment of Englishman Richard Pybus as interim head coach of the West Indies men’s team.
In arguing his case against the appointment, Leeward Islands Cricket Board president, Enoch Lewis, said the associated costs were “unplanned and unbudgeted”, and were unlikely to impact adversely on the already frail Cricket West Indies finances.
“… a significantly high cost to CWI is likely to arise out of the decision to hand-pick and appoint Mr Pybus as interim Head Coach given the likely hiring of new coaches and conversely the termination of the existing coaching staff,” Lewis wrote in a letter to CWI, a copy of which was obtained by CMC Sports.
“Most of whom are under contract until September 2019, and because this cost is unplanned and unbudgeted and happening at a time when CWI is experiencing serious cash flow challenges as reflected by the existing significant cash deficit, which has negatively impacted the company capacity to meet normal day-to-day expenses.”
According to the candid letter last month, Lewis revealed that CWI president had “hand-picked” Pybus for the top coaching role after making an independent determination that negotiations with the previously board-approved choice of South African Nic Pothas, had broken down.
Cricket West Indies director and LICB president, Enoch Lewis.
Pothas had been offered nearly half of what the most recent head coach, Stuart Law, had been given for the role, and had argued for similar levels of compensation to his Australian counterpart.
Lewis, a CWI director, said Cameron “without pre-authorization and input from the Board” subsequently negotiated and concluded a deal with Pybus – for higher compensation than had been offered to Pothas.
The CWI director described the president’s actions as “unfortunate, unacceptable and unethical” and said he raised his concerns at the recent quarterly board meeting in Trinidad.
As such, Lewis called for Pybus’s appointment to be rescinded and negotiations with Pothas to resume, so the head coach selection process could be guided by “integrity, fairness, due process, and established policies.”
“The LICB therefore hereby demands the following: that the recent decision to hand-pick Richard Pybus as interim head coach be rescinded [and] that the process to identify a head coach be started immediately based on established and transparent procedures i.e. the job being advertised, persons interviewed leading to a final candidate being chosen,” Lewis wrote.
“That good faith negotiation takes place with Mr Pothas and a reasonable offer be made to him, e.g. the same [compensation] that is being offered to the outside person rather than the [initial compensation] being offered …
“That as initially decided by the Board, Mr Pothas should be engaged until the end of September 2019, or until such time as a new head coach is properly recruited.”
Pybus has been appointed just weeks before West Indies face England in a full home series which includes three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.
The controversial former CWI director of cricket will also oversee the Caribbean side’s ICC World Cup campaign in England, in a stint expected to run until September.