Coaching virtually not an issue, says Volcanoes’ Richardson

Despite not being physically with the team on a consistent basis, Jamaican-born Windward Islands Volcanoes Head Coach Andrew Richardson says, with the help of his assistant coaches, he is doing all he can to keep his cricketers in tip-top shape.

“I have capable assistants, so I send the programme and they carry out [sessions] when I’m not around. It’s not really [a challenge], but I’ll probably get back down there [Grenada] in a next couple of weeks,” he told the Jamaica Observer in a telephone interview.

“I’ve been working with them for more than a year, so they know how training is structured and how everything is to be executed. So it’s just a matter of carrying it out and giving me a report at the end of every session,” the former Jamaica fast bowler said.

“The season has started a little bit later this year, but we just have to be ready,” he added in reference to doubt whether Cricket West Indies (CWI) will be able to stage the regional four-day tournament this season due to challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Richardson, who coached the Volcanoes to the semi-finals of the regional Super50 Cup in Antigua in February, said the tournament preparation, which was held at their training base in Grenada, provided the template for immediate future endeavours.

“I think that the Grenada government has done an excellent job in terms of managing the COVID numbers. Because the COVID numbers are low we are allowed to basically continue as before. Before the Super50 we got players in with them coming in from different islands — from Dominica, St Vincent, and St Lucia — to participate in practice games,” he explained, against the backdrop of the virus pandemic forcing travel and other logistical headaches.

“We were able to play about six practice games before we went into the Super50. It was easy to manage; we had different times that players came in and worked in time slots, so we basically sectionalised the practice. It’s a little bit easier to manage than the big group, but it takes more time,” he added.

Grenada, a small country in the eastern Caribbean with a population of approximately 113,000 people, has recorded one death from 155 positive coronavirus cases.

Even if the CWI’s plans to stage the four-day competition falls through, Richardson, who captured 192 wickets at 23.96 in 68 first-class matches, insisted that the development project in the Windward Islands will not stall.

“It’s a possibility that we might host our own set of four-day games. Plus there are guys that need remedial work, so this is the time to allow us to do all of that. There are guys going in and out of the international [West Indies] set-up that come back to the franchise that need the work as well, so we still have many reasons to continue the job,” he told the Observer.

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