Fri | Apr 10, 2020

It will be a local coach! - Heaven: There are a lot of qualified coaches in the island

Published:Sunday | December 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Courtney Walsh
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President of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Wilford 'Billy' Heaven says his board will be moving very swiftly in the new year to select a new head coach for the Jamaica Scorpions.

Last Thursday, the JCA announced that the contract of coach Robert Samuels will not be renewed.

Heaven told The Gleaner that there are many qualified coaches in the island, and so it will not take his association very long to put a new man in charge of the Scorpions team.

"We are looking at early January for a replacement for Samuels. I would say not later than the end of January, but I am hoping that the arrangements can be finalised before," said Heaven.

"We are not going overseas because I believe we have competent coaches here who can take the national team and make it into what we want it to be," he said.

"We have 12 level-three coaches in Jamaica, and, of course, Mr [Courtney] Walsh is one of them, and he is practising his trade in Bangladesh, and Mr [Andre] Coley is also another level-three coach, and so, we are satisfied that we will be able to find a local coach to groom the national team," he said.

Heaven added that a number of local coaches have already expressed an interest in the job, but only the most suitable candidate will be given the role.

"We have had interest in the position over time, and these are all qualified and experienced professionals, and we don't believe that to make a decision will take us a long time, and so, I don't see it going beyond Jamaica," Heaven said.

Samuels had previously signed a two-year contract with the Scorpions, which ended on Friday, August 31, 2018, but was extended twice to run until December 31.

During that time, Samuels guided the Scorpions to the semi-finals of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Professional Cricket League (PCL) Regional Super 50 competition. He, however, was also in charge when the team suffered a 41-run defeat inside three days in their opening game of the CWI PCL Regional four-Day competition to the Barbados Pride. The match was played in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The Jamaica Scorpions will next face the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park on January 4.