" --IANS/CMC"
Paramaribo (Suriname), Aug 23 (IANS/CMC) Former Australia and South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has emerged as the favourite to take over as the West Indies cricket coach following the exit of Ottis Gibson earlier this week.

Media reports in Trinidad and Tobago suggested that the South African, who recently finished his duties with the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), is likely to fill in the post after Gibson ended his contract prematurely, reports CMC.

Michael Muirhead, chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), is also encouraging former West Indies cricketers to apply for the vacant position of head coach.

We would talk to everybody. We are going on a worldwide hunt. We would like to put it out there. We always would encourage West Indians but we have to evaluate them and put out our criteria. We would encourage West Indians. I can't put a time table until we see what the pool of coaches is, said Murihead.

A WICB statement said Gibson and WICB mutually agreed to terminate their association with immediate effect.

Team manager Richie Richardson, also a former captain, has been asked to take charge of the team on an interim basis for the series against Bangladesh which started in Grenada Wednesday with a victory for the West Indies.

We are quite capable of functioning so as to carry the team through the Bangladesh series, said Muirhead.

Richie has the experience to keep players together. He is someone to maintain the cohesiveness.

Gibson and WICB cricket operations director Richard Pybus did not see eye to eye during a meeting which discussed a string of poor performances from the regional side, the Trinidad guardian reported.

WICB directors, who held a teleconference last weekend and were informed of the views of both Pybus and Gibson, decided to terminate Gibson's services, the Guardian also reported.

At some point we needed to re-evaluate our position. We did and he did. This was the point where we re-evaluated. It was not a situation where we woke up and said time to go. It is a process. It evolved. It was not a single event that precipitated this. We have a director Mr. Pybus, I am accountable to a board, Muirhead said.

West Indies have shown improvements under Gibson by winning the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka but the poor performances that have followed including losing the recent home series in the Caribbean to New Zealand have triggered calls in many quarters for him to be sacked.

--IANS/CMC

abr/pm/


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