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Thatscricket - Wish your star

Published: Monday, November 20, 2000, 19:55 [IST]
 
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Melbourne: West Indies cricketing great Sir Garfield Sobers launched a withering attack on the credentials of team coaches Roger Harper and Jeff Dujon in comments published on Monday.Sobers, 64, said star batsman Brian Lara would have trouble carrying the struggling team, which would not be helped by the appointment of two Test coaches.''I'm astonished they've appointed two Test coaches who did nothing much out in the middle themselves,'' the former West Indies captain and all-rounder told 'The Australian' newspaper.''As a player, Harper had to go to a coach to learn how to bowl in the middle of a series. How much confidence can you have in Roger Harper? All he's got is one of those meaningless coaching certificates. I don't have a certificate. I never needed one to tell me how to play cricket,'' Sobers was reported as saying.Harper is the head coach of the team, with Dujon his assistant. The West Indies, who dominated world cricket in the 1980s, have come to Australia after a 1-3 series loss in England under Harper's coaching.The tourists go into the first Test against Australia on Thursday in Brisbane low on confidence after a seven-wicket loss to Western Australia and an innings defeat by Victoria on Sunday.West Indies team manager Ricky Skerritt said Sobers was ''a hero of this team''. ''They are pretty harsh comments from somebody that this team looks up to,'' Skerritt told Reuters on Monday.''He has not spent any time around this team or had any discussions with Roger Harper. 'He's obviously entitled to his opinion. It's perhaps a little unfair to Roger, but you certainly respect what Gary Sobers says,'' Skerritt said.Harper, a right-arm off-spinner, took 46 Test wickets at an average of 28.06 in 25 matches between 1983-84 and 1993-94. Sobers played 93 Tests, scoring 8,032 runs at an average of 57.78 including the then world record of 365 not out in 1958. He also took 235 wickets at 34.03.Sobers flew into Brisbane in Queensland on Sunday for a special 40th anniversary celebration of the famous tied test between Australia and the West Indies during the 1960-61 series.While Sobers said he could not see the West Indies winning the series, Skerritt was more optimistic. ''This series...hasn't even begun,'' Skerritt said.(c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions


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