Waqar Younis: Sacking of Sammy, Simmons hurting Windies

Antigua Observer:-Former great Pakistan speedster, Waqar Younis believes the dramatic sacking of West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, on the eve of the ongoing tour has had a negative impact on the Caribbean side’s performance.

West Indies looked a shadow of themselves in the Twenty20 International series and were stunned 3-0 by Pakistan, and also suffered a heavy 111-run defeat in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series here last Friday.

And Waqar, who snared 373 wickets in 87 Tests, said the uncharacteristically poor showing especially in the T20s was a sign that Simmons’ axing, and that of inspirational captain Darren Sammy, had left the side in disarray.

“To be honest, I feel there are plenty of loopholes. They don’t really look like a unit having sacked their coach before coming on this tour,” said the 44-year-old.

“They are having issues with new captain (Carlos Brathwaite) having to step in as they also sacked their captain Darren Sammy. These things are never good and easy when you are going to play in someone else’s backyard.

“All these have really affected them and you could clearly see it during the T20 series, their body language is not there.”

West Indies are reigning T20 World champions after their triumph in India last April but failed to live up to their billing, with three successive wretched performances.

In the opening T20 in Dubai, they were dismissed for 115 to lose by nine wickets and in the second game the following day, lost by 16 runs after failing to chase down 161 at the same venue.

The final game in Abu Dhabi was even more shocking for West Indies as they could only muster a paltry 103 for five from their 20 overs, allowing Pakistan to ease to an easy eight-wicket win.

Waqar, who has served as a Pakistan head coach in the past but is now a television analyst for the series, said West Indies faced the humiliation of losing every game on tour – including the three Tests later this month – if they did not quickly arrest the current slide.

“They have to really pull their strings very quickly before it gets too late. At the moment after what I have seen in this series it looks like it might be 9-0, to be very honest,” Waqar contended.

“They have to really play good cricket. Somebody has to inspire this West Indies team to go out and play positive. At the moment they look like they are all over the place.”

West Indies faced Pakistan in the second ODI on Sunday.