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Stuart Law: "The West Indies are a team on the up"

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Newly-appointed West Indies coach Stuart Law has said a conversation with his predecessor Phil Simmons helped convince him he had made the right decision to link up with the Caribbean side. Law was last week confirmed by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) as the new men's senior team coach on a two-year contract, and will formally assume duties next month ahead of England's one-day tour.

In a recent chance meeting in the United Arab Emirates, Law said Simmons had nothing but praise for the quality attitude of players in the Caribbean.

"Funny enough I have just been in Dubai with the Australia under-16 team and I bumped into Phil Simmons. He was very forthcoming with information," Law told the Courier Mail on Sunday.

"One thing he said was how much the players love cricket and wanted to learn for each other. That really caught my attention. It's all you really need to hear."

Law takes over the West Indies unit which has been on the decline for over a decade now and languishes at number eight in the Test rankings and number nine in the One-Day Internationals.

In fact, the West Indies' win over Pakistan in Sharjah last November was their first Test victory in 19 months, only their second in 17 matches and first on foreign soil in four years.

Law, who has in the past coached Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, said he was also encouraged after speaking to WICB President Dave Cameron, and was looking forward to the challenge.

"The West Indies job is similar to when I went to Bangladesh and I took over from Jamie Siddons who did a lot of hard yards to make them competitive and I came in and tried to add something a little special on top of that and we got them to an Asian Cup final for the first time in their history, which was a huge achievement," the 48-year-old former Australia international batsman said.

"The West Indies are a team on the up and after speaking to the board president about what they have in place it could be a very good period of time."

He added: "I'm excited. I have known about the opportunity for quite some time. I had one more thing in the pipeline but I have gone for this and it is a great move."

Of importance to Law will be the West Indies Test status and he said he would be working hard to improve the side's fortunes in the longest format.

"One perception people have about West Indian cricket is that they are only T20 focused but I know that is not the case," he contended. "There are a lot of young players who I know want to play Test cricket. That excites me.''

Law replaces Simmons who was axed last September, five months after leading the West Indies to the capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India.