TT Red Force coach Mervyn Dillon is confident that his contract will be renewed at the end of the month, as the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) is now accepting applications for the Red Force head coaching position.
Dillon was hired in January 2019, replacing former national all-rounder Kelvin Williams.
Dillon, who focuses a lot on fitness, is positive that he is the man for the job.
“I am quite confident. I think I am probably in a better position than anybody else to retain the job,” Dillon said.
Since Dillon was appointed Red Force have shown improvement.
After four rounds of competition in the 2019 West Indies Four-Day Championship, Williams stepped down as coach after starting the season with three losses and one win.
Dillon led the team to a fourth place finish as the team recorded three wins, one draw and two losses in the remaining six matches under his guidance. At the end of 2019, Red Force stormed into the semi-finals of the Colonial Medical Insurance 50-Over tournament with seven wins in eight matches in Group B. However, Red Force lost in the semi-finals by four wickets to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
In the recently concluded 2020 West Indies Four-Day Championship, Red Force finished second to champions Barbados Pride. Dillon led the team to three wins, two losses and three draws in eight matches before the competition ended. The final two rounds were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dillon said he was not aware that the board was accepting applications.
“Funny enough I heard about it after one of the (media) guys called me (on Thursday) morning. That’s when I found out about it, which was kind of disappointing because even if it is being advertised I would think I would be one of the first people to be notified.”
Dillon’s contract ends at the end of April.
The former West Indies fast bowler said when he was hired for the position he requested a minimum of two years to work with the team. He said that time frame would have allowed him time to implement his coaching philosophy and give the players time to learn that philosophy.
Dillon said president of the TTCB Azim Bassarath told him on Thursday that he was previously informed that the position would be advertised.
Dillon said he does not recall that conversation.
“I spoke to them (on Thursday). I spoke to the president and Mr (Dudnath) Ramkissoon (the cricket operations officer). The president insisted that I was told that the job was going to be advertised, but I don’t think I am losing my memory. That was not the case as far as I am concerned. I did not have that conversation.”
Ramkissoon confirmed that the board started accepting applications on Thursday for the head coaching position. Ramkissoon said Dillon has a chance like everyone else.
“Once he applies (he is in contention). I don’t know how many other people will apply, but you want the process to be transparent and fair.”
Ramkissoon said it is difficult to say when the hiring process will be complete because of the coronavirus pandemic, but is hoping it will end in May.
Asked if Dillon was aware that the TTCB was accepting job applications, Ramkissoon said, “The executive met recently and decided to send out the ad. He is correct, we did not tell him it was going out, but in November he knew because the letter he got advising him that his contract was extended until the end of April clearly stated at the end of one of the paragraphs ‘while your tenure will end in April you are free to apply for the job of head coach of the Red Force'.”