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Gibson calls for West Indies unity

February 03, 2010 20:13 IST

Harmony on and off the pitch is vital if West Indies cricket is to have a chance of reviving past glories, new head coach Ottis Gibson said on Wednesday.

Ottis GibsonWest Indies cricket has been beset by off-field politics in recent years and despite talents such as Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul the team have underperformed, especially in five-day cricket where they are ranked eighth of the nine Test-playing nations.

Gibson, named on Tuesday as the successor to John Dyson who was sacked in August following the strike-affected defeat against Bangladesh, said the raw material is in place for a revival of Caribbean cricket.

"The one thing for certain is the ability and the talent is still there, but it's getting the team to play together," Gibson, who resigned as England's fast bowling coach to take the West Indies job, said in a BBC interview.

"There has been a lot of off the field stuff which has created unnecessary problems for the team and the players but if we can get ourselves focused and have one common goal that everybody in West Indies cricket is hoping to achieve we can put some good results together.

"The Board, the cricketers, the players' association, everybody needs one common thing and then we can have a period of stability."

West Indies played well in patches during the 2-0 test defeat by Australia before Christmas and Gibson said he also saw enough on England's recent tour of the Caribbean last year to feel optimistic about the future.

"The team showed in Australia that they can compete with the top sides," he said. "The raw material is still there.

"I saw that first hand when England went to the West Indies. We came up against a lot of good young players like Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons.

"When we went around the regions there was some obvious talent there and it just needs to be found and nurtured."

Gibson, who has responsibility for all West Indies representative teams, is expected to begin his role in the home one-day series against Zimbabwe next month.

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