Staff Report Kuwait Cricket is on an upswing as they see better times ahead after beating Saudi Arabia and qualifying for the next round in the just concluded ICC Twenty20 qualifiers to be held in Australia in 2020.
One man responsible for this historic achievement is the coach Herschelle Gibbs who just in a matter of two months built a winning team that has impressed everyone. Gibbs used his vast international experience and cricketing knowledge to raise the standard of the players and bring a much needed victory that was cherished by the entire cricketing fraternity. “When I first arrived little over two months I had no idea about any of the players background or competence,” Gibbs told The Times, Kuwait in an exclusive chat.
Slowly but surely he got around by and in a matter of three weeks choose the final playing 15 for the tournament. “The first thing I did was to put them on a diet that would shape and condition their fitness,” he disclosed adding that though the period was short the players gave their 100 per cent and he was happy with that.
Gibbs who played for South Africa in his international career and having broken many batting records during his career brought with him the right amount of professionalism that the Kuwait Cricket team needed. Pointing out that the team found it hard in the beginning but after a month they got around it and became more relaxed and started enjoying the game.
While the biggest barrier was language, the support staff were very well equipped to address these issues. When the final 11 was chosen to play the all important match Gibb’s said “I choose experience over youth, as we had very little time to prepare and the objective was to get to the next round.”
Going forward Gibbs said a new younger team would have to be groomed eventually. He also noted that Kuwait would have to improve its facilities to create more interest in the game so better quality of players are nurtured. Gibbs pointed at the corporates who he said should get involved and support the game as the potential was huge and so were the benefits.
He appreciated the vision of Sajid Ashraf, the Director General of Kuwait Cricket for the hard work put into developing the sport in the country. During his 14 year career Gibbs played in all formats of the game including 90 test matches for his country. He was also one of only eight batsmen to score 100’s in three consecutive innings.
Having accomplished the task of taking Kuwait to the next round Gibbs is still open to come back to train the squad in the future. His professionalism and preparation has gone down well with the management and players and his contribution to Kuwait Cricket will long be remembered.