WICB suspends Simmons for Tour of Sri Lanka
West Indies cricket in more conflict
In a statement today the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said it 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 statement said.
It continued: "The Head Coach will not now travel with the team on the Tour of Sri Lanka.
"In the meantime, the Management has advised that the coaching responsibilities of the Head Coach will pass to Eldine Baptiste, a member of the WICB Selection Panel, until the matter is cleared up.
"Baptiste was already a member of the original tour party to Sri Lanka as the "selector-on-tour"," the statement said.
Simmons said last week that "interference from outside" at a selection meeting on September 23 had kept all-rounders 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 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 January2015. It is believed that the WICB has been punishing the two Trinidadians for their role in the infamous aborted tour of India.