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Walsh enjoying coaching role

PASSING ON TIPS: Walsh (right) enjoys passing on his knowledge

LEGENDARY WEST Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh has spoken of his new found love of coaching. When Walsh retired from international cricket at the age of 38, he thought he would spend his days relaxing on the beach. But he couldn't stay away from the game for long.

So after dabbling in TV commentary, he's now trying to be a helpful presence for the next generation of West Indies players, and to aid the under-19 head coach Roddy Estwick. Walsh was recently appointed manager of the West Indies under-19 team for their tour of the United States.

“It's something I'm very keen to do because of the love I have for the game," said Walsh. "I've had that love since I've been at school. So anything to do with cricket just gives me a buzz and it's something that I want to do."

"I think it's a way of putting something back into the cricket, or pass down your experience to the younger players, and that's why I specifically wanted to try to do some work with the younger players," Walsh says.

"It's an area where, if you can organise them from now - the workload should be lesser when they get to the higher level - to try to maintain standards, focus on the discipline and just help them to think about the game and learn more about it because the more you learn now, the better it's going to be for you at a later stage."

Looking back at his great career, which saw him play in 132 Test and 205 one-day internationals for the Windies, Walsh recalled: "You miss it obviously when you retire. You miss playing a little bit, but once you don't focus on that, it becomes a little bit easier.

"You remember the people you met, the friendships that grew when you worked, and the bonding from touring. I've met many a people in different parts of the world that today are still my friends. That to me is very important. That's some of the stuff you want to rub off on these kids - that don't just see it as a cricket tour you go on and finish.

“You're going to meet people who might have an effect on your life down the road, meet people who can become your friends, who live in another part of the world."

Jamaica-born Walsh took 519 Test wickets and was once subject to this description: “a physiological phenomenon, Walsh probably bowled faster for longer than any man in history.”

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