Zimbabwe coach speaks to Cricinfo June 8, 2006

Curran hits back at Simmons criticism

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Curran, Zimbabwe's coach, has hit back at claims made by Phil Simmons that some players were unhappy with the advice they were being given during the recent one-day series in the Caribbean.

Simmons had said that players had come to him for help when he was in Trinidad. "I have been watching the games and most of the players were having problems but no one told them why they were having those problems. They were not being told simple things and when they came to me I had no problem doing that."

Curran countered that he believed Simmons' remarks were a result of "sour grapes" following his dismissal by Zimbabwe Cricket. "They then employed me to fill the post," Curran told Cricinfo. "In no way did my appointment influence or have anything to do with Simmons dismissal Thus, it was disappointing to read his comments, which your writer rightly concluded `were an implied criticism of Kevin Curran'. Many other people also concluded the same.

"Whilst I will reserve my right to follow the legal route on the actionable statements, I will not enter a public slanging match with Simmons. It is regrettable that he has decided to go public with what he was allegedly told. I would respectfully suggest that if he intends to pursue his case with his former employer he should do so without involving me.

"You and your readers know the results of the Zimbabwe tour of the West Indies," Curran continued. "A whitewash had been forecast. None was witnessed. Could the Zimbabwe players have played the way they did if, as Simmons says, `they were having problems but no one told them why they were having those problems'?

"Could the players have posed the challenge that they did to the point of being on the verge of winning the sixth match which, regrettably, was affected by rain at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad if `they were not being told the simple things`? Especially when Zimbabwe is the most inexperienced and youngest international team ever to play ODI cricket.

"You know that the subsequent India tour has seen the hosts win 4-1," Curran concluded. "If Zimbabwe had won their sixth match the tour would have finished 5-1."