West Indies news September 28, 2015

Simmons suspended as West Indies coach


Phil Simmons has been suspended with immediate effect as West Indies coach, two days after he expressed his unhappiness with the ODI squad selected for the Sri Lanka tour. Simmons was caught unawares by the decision, which was communicated to him in an email from WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead, as he was in the UK preparing to join the squad in London on their way to Sri Lanka.

Simmons will now not travel with the team, and former West Indies fast bowler Eldine Baptiste, who is also a national selector, will take up the position of interim coach for the tour of Sri Lanka. The series, which begins on October 14, is the new Test captain Jason Holder's first assignment.

"The West Indies Cricket Board has learnt of the comments from head coach of the West Indies team Phil Simmons in the print and electronic media which appear to question the legitimacy of the selection process of the one-day international squad for the tour of Sri Lanka. As a result, the management of the WICB has taken action to suspend the head coach, pending an investigation into the issue," the board said in a statement. "The head coach will not now travel with the team on the tour of Sri Lanka."

Though West Indies' limited-overs squads for the tour had not been announced, Simmons revealed that "interference from outside" at a selection meeting on September 23 had kept allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard out of the ODI side. Simmons said that he, as coach, and chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd had voted for their inclusion, but were outnumbered 3-2 despite Holder also wanting Bravo and Pollard in the team.

"I think it's disappointing from the fact that I haven't got the best 50-over ODI squad that we can select in the Caribbean," Simmons had said at a media conference, at the conclusion of the West Indies training camp at the 3Ws Oval in Bridgetown. "The chairman, Mr Lloyd, he came and he gave an exceptional speech saying that he thinks it is time they are back in the squad and he gave exceptional reasons for them being back in the squad. Unfortunately, when we went into the selection [meeting] we lost it 3-2. Him and myself - the captain [Holder] doesn't have a vote in this - but the captain also gave his views as to why they need to be back."

Bravo and Pollard have not been considered for ODI selection since they were dropped for the series in South Africa in January this year, and their omission from the World Cup squad generated plenty of debate. At the time Lloyd had said he had spoken to the two players and explained to them that the selection panel wanted to move on and give youngsters more chances.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2015, 16:04 GMT

    Just wanted to add my tuppence worth involving the comparison debate with Allrounders past and present. Phillip, Boyce and Julien were bowlers who can bat abit, for example being good number eights. Collis King, like Polly was more of a destructive batsmen (number six?) who could bowl their nagging medium-pacers. For me Dwayne Bravo was the most naturally talented all-rounder in the W.I, since the great Garfield Sobers. ODIs being his strongest format, with the highly paid T20s ruining his natural batting technique, in favour of glorified slogging. But due to Bravo refusing a Central-Contract, as well as being the ODI Captain who walked out of the tour in India, combined with the unreasonable pollitricking by the Board, has left us in the mess we find ourselves to this present day.

  • alfred on September 30, 2015, 10:19 GMT

    Pollard > Philip, king, boyce and Julien... he should be in the odi and 20/20 team. Sad when politics and personal agendas get in the way, its always the fans who miss out on seeing the best players.

  • Sam on September 30, 2015, 1:47 GMT

    Simmons made a tactical error even if his statement about the selection process is true. Welcome to the WICB Simmo. The "fun" has just begun.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2015, 22:15 GMT

    Simmons may be right, but if you are going to make such charges, you'd better have some good evidence to provide.

  • Dummy4 on September 29, 2015, 21:34 GMT

    Kenneth, Keith Boyce, Bernard Jullien, Collis King and Norbert Philip were not much better than Dwayne or Pollard . . . Technically, at his best, Dwayne is better than all four. Norbert Philip was not a good player (sorry). However Julien and Boyce are very good bowlers . . . Collis could "voop" like Pollard but had less power sometimes.

  • H on September 29, 2015, 17:33 GMT

    I have read the comments on this board, some points are well taken and some are not. The question I would like to pose to all that have commented is, if any of us who works for an organization, comes out and say that the organization is not doing business on the up and up and question the ethics of the organization (WHETHER TRUE OR UNTRUE), would we still be employed by that said organization? The honest answer is NO.

  • Tyrone on September 29, 2015, 17:09 GMT

    Phil Simmons comments proved that he is not a Professional Coach. At no time he should be disclosing how the Selection Voting went. The great Bill Parcells said "if I'm going to cook the meal, then I should have a say in shopping the grocery". Simmons had that say, unfortunately it didn't went in his favour. If the Selection Voting went in Simmons favour I wouldn't want a Selector say Tom , Dick & Harry shouldn't have been selected. Let's examine the real issue here, which is Simmons comments.

  • Ashmead on September 29, 2015, 16:23 GMT

    It is high time that Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and T & T leave the mess which is called WICB and go their own way. If Winward and Leeward which to combine themselves and give it a go then good for them.

    Bottom line is the WICB needs to be disbanded.

  • michael on September 29, 2015, 16:21 GMT

    @nameless. None of Boyce, Julien, King or Philip could displace Pollard in either ODI or T20 as a batsman. None were potential match winners. Pollard is. Teams announced and any further discussion would make more sense there.

  • Dhanpaul Narine on September 29, 2015, 16:18 GMT

    One step forward, two steps backwards! Just when you think it couldn't get any worse they 'redeemed' themselves and sunk the game to a new low in the West Indies. The fact is that the Board is dominated by an uppity class that refuses to bend to the wishes of the people it serves: the cricketing public. What Simmons did was to reveal to us how the selection process works. This was supposed to be behind closed doors and kept confidential. But now we know and the Board is peeved and one gets the feeling that the walls of secrecy have been broken and perhaps we will now get more accountability.

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