BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Former interim West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer says he is thrilled to be back in the Caribbean side’s coaching set-up, and is hoping he can contribute to an historic series win over England next month.
Reifer has replaced batting coach Monty Desai who was unable to travel to the United Kingdom due to lockdown restrictions in his native India.
“It’s always good to be back on the international circuit and working with the best cricketers we have in the Caribbean,” Reifer said prior to his departure earlier this week.
“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to getting back into doing some work.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity coach [Phil] Simmons has given me and he had the confidence in me as well so it’s just for me to go out there and do the job I know I can do.”
West Indies will defend the coveted Wisden Trophy when they face England in a three-Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
And the Caribbean side’s batting, which has struggled in recent time, is expected to come under the microscope especially in English seam-friendly conditions.
Reifer said his role in the coaching unit would be critical in getting the best out of the side’s batting group.
“Phil is a very good coach, very experienced and has been doing well with the team over the last few months,” he noted.
“I’m looking forward to working with Phil and adding my value and my knowledge to make sure the team does the best they can in England.
“Obviously my job is to prepare the batters to make sure they’re mentally and skillfully as ready as possible or those Test matches.”
Reifer was appointed interim West Indies head coach last year April, taking over from Englishman Richard Pybus.
However, he presided over a disastrous World Cup in England where the regional side managed just two wins in nine matches to finish ninth of 10 teams – their worst ever result at the global 50-over showpiece.
Having also served as head coach of West Indies A and led the successful Emerging Players side which won the Super50 Cup last November, Reifer said he was already acquainted with many of the players in the large 25-member contingent.
“I worked with the guys at the World Cup, worked with guys in the A-team as well, and one or two of the guys [in the Test contingent] are from the Emerging Players so I’ve worked with most or all of the guys in the team so it’s just to continue and build those relationships,” he stressed.
Reifer said while his long term ambition was to work within the West Indies coaching step up, his immediate focus was the England series.
“Everything in time. I’ve had a taste of it already and I’m positive that I’m going to be there again so I’m taking everything in stride,” said Reifer, who once enjoyed a stint as West Indies captain.
“Right now it’s just this series coming up so I’m going to put my best foot forward and make sure that the guys are prepared well and do my best.”