DHAKA: West Indies great Courtney Walsh is set to take over as bowling coach of the Bangladesh cricket team on a three-year contract.
Walsh, who was the first bowler to take 500 test wickets, has worked as a West Indies selector since he retired as a player but has not held a senior coaching role at the international level.
The 53-year-old Walsh says Bangladesh has a “seriously talented bunch of players” and he’s looking forward to working with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha as a replacement for specialist bowling coach Heath Streak.
“Obviously the West Indies is my home but the chance to go in a new direction in coaching at the international level with a talented group, was one I couldn’t let that opportunity pass,” he said.
Walsh made his test debut in 1984 and retired in 2001 with 519 test wickets after a career that started during the West Indies’ dominating run in the international game, typified by fearsome pace bowling and brazenly attacking batting.
He also took 227 wickets in 205 limited-overs internationals, including career-best bowling figures of 5-1 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1986.
Walsh retired not long after Bangladesh played its very first test ? against India in 2000. While Bangladesh has struggled to adjust to the five-day test format ? not winning a match until 2005 and not having a major breakthrough until back-to-back wins in the West Indies in 2009 ? it has performed better in the limited-overs versions.
Last year, Bangladesh reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup and also won limited-overs series against South Africa, Pakistan and India.
Traditionally reliant on spin bowling, Bangladesh has an emerging number of seam bowlers. “Bangladesh cricket at present is going through the best pace bowling phase in our history,” Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury was quoted as saying.
“And Courtney’s involvement, I am sure will take it to greater heights.” -AP