Holder hopes for swift Simmons resolution
West Indies captain Jason Holder said that the fate of suspended head coach Phil Simmons lay "with Phil and the board" but added that he had been a "wonderful inspiration" during his brief time in charge.
Holder hoped for a swift resolution that would allow Simmons to return to the squad in Sri Lanka after his position was put in limbo when he expressed discontent over West Indies' ODI squad for the tour.
Simmons has since apologised for his remarks, but has been asked to answer for "breaches of confidentiality" by the WICB and is currently awaiting at HR hearing.
"The comments made by Phil were by Phil, and I can't comment on those things," Holder said in Colombo. "It's down to him and the board. We can only control the cricket because that's what we came here to do. Whatever his situation, his fate lies with him and the board. Hopefully he can deal with that and be back to us as soon as possible."
The timing of Simmons' suspension has posed a significant problem for West Indies, coming as it did only days before the squad was scheduled to assemble in Sri Lanka, and less than three weeks before the first Test. Simmons was appointed West Indies coach in March and the Sri Lanka tour would have been his first international foray with the outfit. It is also Holder's first assignment as Test captain.
"No doubt [Simmons' suspension] is a bit of setback for us, but at this present stage, all we can do is focus on the cricket. I just hope that the situation with him is solved quickly because we would love to have him back. He's been a wonderful inspiration to our team thus far."
West Indies are scheduled to begin their tour with a three-day warm-up match which now begins on Friday, having been pushed back 24 hours due to poor weather, before moving to Galle for the first Test, which begins on October 14.
SLC announced on Tuesday that the two-match Test series will be named the Sobers-Tissera trophy, after West Indies great Garry Sobers and Sri Lanka batsman Michael Tissera, who was among the island's pre-eminent cricketers in the pre-Test era.
"Having the trophy named after Sir Garfield Sobers is something truly special," Holder said. "He was one of the greatest to play the game and he still makes a major contribution to the game. Only recently he joined us in Barbados and wished everyone the very best for this tour of Sri Lanka.
"It is always good to see him and interact with him and it would be great for us to take home the trophy with his name on it. We got some pretty young faces in our squad and a lot of them look up to the past greats who played the game."
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando