Michael Dighton had to choose between the young family he left behind in Australia and his coaching role with Canada’s cricket team.
Just seven months into the job, Dighton resigned last week citing personal reasons.
He may have made up his mind before he left for Namibia early last month that he was not coming back as he headed to Australia after the series in Africa.
Canadian captain Rizwan Cheema said he sensed that Dighton’s absence from his family was weighing on his mind.
The coach, who late last year signed a contract extending to December 31, 2013, has two young children.
“I don’t think it was easy with him being away from them and he might have been feeling some pressure,” said Cheema. “We also did not get a chance to work with him a lot except on tours.”
New Cricket Canada president Ravin Moorthy said Dighton’s quick exit surprised him.
“I am also a bit disappointed, but he has a young family and he would obviously like to spend more time with them,” Moorthy told Share.
Dighton, who turned 36 last week, phoned new Cricket Canada chief executive officer Doug Hannum to tell him he was not returning, before e-mailing the executive.
With Dighton at the helm, Canada lost all four of its matches at the Caribbean Twenty/20 tournament in January, failed to make this year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 competition in Sri Lanka despite winning five of eight games in the qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates last month and split a two-game One-Day International series in Namibia after losing the four-day Intercontinental Cup match by eight wickets.
Moorthy said a replacement for Dighton will be named before Canada travels to Scotland in early July for an Intercontinental Cup fixture and two One-Day Internationals.
“We will evaluate a couple of options including looking at some of the candidates that applied before,” he said. “We think we know what we want. At this time, our preference is to put a full-time coach in place now instead of having someone do the job on an interim basis so the individual will have enough time to prepare the team for the next global Twenty/20 and World Cup qualifiers.”
The United Arab Emirates has been granted the right to stage a third consecutive World Twenty/20 qualifier in October 2013 while New Zealand will host the 14-team World Cup qualifier in 2014.
Former Barbadian middle-order batsman and Dutch coach, Emmerson Trotman, was high on the list for the job offered to Dighton last September. He’s the Barbados cricket team’s batting coach.
“We have not looked at names as yet, but we will consider the people that showed an interest in coming here,” was Moorthy’s response when asked if Trotman was a top contender for the position.
Dighton, who played five seasons in The Netherlands and was the Dutch assistant coach in last year’s World Cup, arrived here last October to replace former Sri Lanka and Canada wicketkeeper/batsman Pubudu Dassanayake who is now Nepal’s coach.
The Aussie took the national team to Barbados last December for a short training camp before heading home briefly for the Christmas holidays. He flew back to the Caribbean in early January for the West Indies Twenty/20 tournament, returned to Australia after the series while his Canadian work permit was processed and then joined the national squad in Sri Lanka to prepare for the World Cup qualifier.
He was back in Canada for a few days early last month before travelling with the side to Namibia.
Dighton was Canada’s third coach in the last year. Following Dassanayake’s resignation after the 2011 World Cup, Cricket Canada’s Development officer, Ingleton Liburd, filled the breach on an interim basis.
With the ex-Canadian opener in charge, a second string team won the Americas Cup Twenty/20 competition in Florida and Canada defeated the United States by 34 runs in the Auty Memorial Cup two-day contest at Toronto Cricket Club ground last summer. He also coached the team in last September’s Intercontinental Cup match and two one-day fixtures in Ireland.
Meanwhile, Mike Kendall remains the Ontario Cricket Association’s president.
The vice-presidents are Gulla Bajwa, Deo Samaroo, Rupert Albert and Tauqir Uddin. The rest of the executive are Saqib Sheikh (secretary), Wazir Khullar (treasurer), Melvin John (senior coordinator and dispute resolution officer), Andrew Laidlaw (assistant senior coordinator), Shawn Manhas (junior coordinator), Vish Jadunath (assistant junior coordinator), Don Denhart (disciplinary chairman), Bisham Singh (umpires chair), Rita Jethi (women’s chair), Surinder Razdan (public relations officer), Shoaib Mohammed (sponsorship & marketing chair), Yudhvir Jaswal (media chair) and Deborah Robertson (special projects chair).
By RON FANFAIR