Desmond Haynes, the former West Indies batsman, has been appointed batting consultant to the national team for their home series against Pakistan. Haynes will work under head coach Ottis Gibson during the one-off Twenty20 international, five one-dayers and two Tests, after which the West Indies Cricket Board will search for a full-time batting coach.
Haynes was part of the West Indies camp in Barbados last week. "I have always said I wanted to be involved in West Indies cricket and help in any way I could," he said. "This is a chance to help the young players with their development. I just want to see the players get better as we aim for improvement at all levels in West Indies cricket, and get the team back to the halcyon days."
There are several inexperienced players in West Indies' squad for Haynes to work with, after the board chose to leave out Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the first two one-dayers and include Lendl Simmons and Kirk Edwards. The squad also contains 22-year-old Darren Bravo.
Since retiring from cricket, Haynes has worked mainly in administration, and was a WICB director as well as head of the selection committee. His latest assignment was as manager of Barbados for the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament. He said he was happy to be working in the coaching department.
"I am happy to be part of the team management unit, headed by Ottis, and I believe I can also help the players with the mental aspect of their game and the way they go about their cricket in general."
West Indies' decision to opt for a batting consultant comes after their opponents in the upcoming series convinced Javed Miandad to work with their batsmen.
According to the WICB, Haynes has worked with South Africa allrounder Jacques Kallis, batsman Herschelle Gibbs and young West Indies batsman Darren Bravo among other international cricketers.
West Indies arrive in St Lucia on Monday ahead of the Twenty20 match against Pakistan, which is on April 21.