Former West Indies team manager Omar Khan welcomes the regional board’s decision to install an independent panel of professionals to conduct a comprehensive review of the team’s early exit from the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
He applauds the initiative but believes the panel must make haste with their recommendations, and ensure they are properly installed and implemented, for the betterment of West Indies cricket.
Khan made these statements following a release by Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Wednesday, which named West Indies batting legend Brian Lara, South African Mickey Arthur and Justice Patrick Thompson Jr – a High Court judge at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court – as the three-man team to undertake a “holistic assessment.”
The panel will submit a report to the CWI board of directors, with relevant insight and clear recommendations. It is also intended that this review will establish a process and template for future performance reviews.
Khan supported an in-depth post-mortem analysis of the two-time T20 World Cup winners’ exit but said appropriate application of the recommendations should remain top priority.
He said, “They (CWI) need to do something like that (install panel) but at the end of the day, we have had many instances reviews and investigations have been done, and recommendations made. But the key to it is getting the recommendations implemented in a meaningful way.”
Khan said the cricketing landscape has changed and administrators, coaches and players must adopt a new approach for success.
“Cricket is now a business and we have to start implementing business systems and business thinking in terms of how the cricket is being run.
“We have to change how we run the affairs of the cricket, start implementing things like performance management on players and implement and adhere to strict business systems.”
Although critical of the current state of West Indies cricket, Khan, who also served as TT Red Force manager, offered some suggestions to spark the positive change, and even offered himself for selection to any committee charged with implementing the recommendations put forward by the panel, following their investigations.
“The development aspect of our players has to be a key component in any recommendation. Our players have to understand they have to become students of the game. They have to start thinking out situations.
“Even in the coaching staff, they have to embed that kind of thinking in the players. We need to identify the right people to be part of the management team. I am recommending that I be part of that management team.
“We love to have meetings and reviews but because of our Caribbean culture, the execution is poor. We take years to execute things and when we do so it’s a very slow process. And at that time, everyone else is miles ahead.”
CWI president Ricky Skerritt was pleased with the panel selected and said the region is “fortunate” to have such a knowledgeable and independent team agree to serve West Indies cricket under challenging circumstances.
“I am especially grateful for their commitment to lend some of their valuable time to this important review project.
“It is vital that players, coaches, administrators, and all of us who love West Indies cricket, recognise that creating a sustainable learning culture, throughout the organization, is a prerequisite for player growth and team improvement.
“Emotion-based and knee-jerk type decisions have failed CWI repeatedly in the past. I am confident that this independent World Cup review process will produce findings and learnings that should be of great benefit to our cricket system going forward.”