Former coach heads to court

Phil Simmons set to sue Zimbabwe Cricket

Steven Price in Harare

March 31, 2009

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It is more than three years since Phil Simmons was replaced as Zimbabwe coach, but he still remains in dispute with them over monies he claims are outstanding.

Simmons, who agreed a three-year deal with Zimbabwe Cricket in August 2004, was removed a year later and replaced by Kevin Curran in almost farcical circumstances. It was widely believed at the time that the decision was because Simmons refused to do as senior board members wanted.

From the outset, Simmons maintained he had been unfairly dismissed, and he has been wary of discussing the situation with the media for fear of prejudicing his case. Privately, he is said to be livid at the way he was in effect sacked and the fact that he has not been compensated in any way. Curran's appointment was not welcomed by most players, and soon after Simmons' removal 30 of them presented a petition to ZC demanding his reinstatement.

It is reported that last month Simmons' London lawyers wrote to ZC and that a sum of around $400,000 has been claimed from it which represents full payment of the remaining two years of his contract.

It has also emerged that the contract is governed by English law and so could be pursued through courts in London. If it reaches that stage, then ZC would have to defend the case there, and it is expected that Simmons' lawyers would ask for the production of many sensitive documents.

If ZC were to lose the case, then although London courts have no immediate jurisdiction over it, Simmons' lawyers would probably seek to enforce the decision through the ICC.

Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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