Woolmer Enters W.I Coaching Picture
Wed, Mar 5, '03
Bob Woolmer, the former England all-rounder who helped turn South Africa into one of the best Test and ODI sides in the 1990s, has emerged as a surprise front-runner for the vacant job as West Indies senior coach.
Top-level sources within the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) confirmed Woolmer spent hours interviewing separately with WICB boss Wes Hall and chief selector Viv Richards in South Africa last week and the talks have progressed towards the parameters of a contract offer.
Woolmer, one of the biggest names on the coaching circuit, earned his stripes as a successful coach for Warwickshire before his stint as South Africa's national coach between 1994 and 1999.
Rev. Hall and Richards also interviewed Australian academy coach Bennett King and KwaZulu-Natal's Eldine Baptiste in between West Indies games at the World Cup. Sources say the board is keen to have a "big name" coach for the job and Woolmer's name shot up to the top of the list after he expressed a willingness to interview for the job.
One source said Hall and Richards were "very impressed" with Bennett King's candidacy and were on the verge of offering him the job before Woolmer came into the picture. King confirmed the interview in an e-mail to CaribbeanCricket.com but declined comment "out of respect for the interview process."
"They have progressed to the point of talking dollars with Woolmer so it's a safe bet he is the man they (the WICB) want," the source said.
Woolmer now serves as ICC High Performance Manager, responsible for working with assodciate member countries Canada, Holland, Kenya and Namibia. He played a key role in assisting the "minnows" in their World Cup preparations.
That ICC contract expires at the end of the World Cup and the WICB wants to appoint a new coach by April 1 to take over from Roger Harper, who did not reapply for the position nor was he offered an extension.