Get the app

West Indies Players Association ex-chief seeks public support for Phil Simmons

West Indies coach Simmons was suspended by the country's cricket board on Monday for appearing to question the make-up of his ODI squad that will tour Sri Lanka in November.

IANS |September 29, 2015, 12:46 PM IST
West Indies Players Association ex-chief seeks public support for Phil Simmons

Port-of-Spain: Former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine has called on the cricketing public to speak out in defence of suspended West Indies head coach Phil Simmons after he claimed that outside interference was hampering the selection of the team's One-Day International squad.

Ramnarine said he anticipates further backlash after Simmons publicly protested the omission of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the West Indies squad to tour Sri Lanka next month. Simmons was suspended on Monday, reports CMC.

Simmons said both he and chief selector Clive Lloyd had been in favour of the players' re-inclusion, but the five-member selection panel had voted 3-2 against their inclusion.

"This is a very serious matter and has to be examined. I trust the cricketing community will give Simmons the support he needs," said Ramnarine on Monday.

"I have played under Simmons and he is the most decent, honest and fair human being you would ever come across."

The issue escalated over the weekend when Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell labelled Simmons' claims as "disturbing" and added that any selection panel needed to be "free of interference, fear, or favour".

The ODI side for Sri Lanka has not yet been announced by the WICB, and on the basis of Simmons' announcement, Bravo and Pollard are not expected to be included.

"We cannot allow people like Phil Simmons to fall through the crack because of poor governance structure and be maligned and victimised when those who play the games of the Board have a free ride," said Ramnarine.

"That has to stop. The time has come for the coach to be given full authority."

Bravo and Simmons were dropped ahead of the ODI series in South Africa last January and also overlooked for the subsequent ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Critics have compared Bravo's batting average of 25.36 and 199 wickets and Pollards' batting average of 25.20 with the 18.75 average of opener Dwayne Smith who was included in the World Cup team to illustrate their case.

The former West Indies leg-spinner said the spotlight must be put on the selectors who voted against Pollard and Bravo.

Simmons and Lloyd were outvoted 3-2 in the selection meeting which included Courtney Walsh, Courtney Browne and Eldine Baptiste.

"This is the first time we have had a coach so honest and transparent. The question is why the three selectors who did not vote for them are not being called to account," he said.

"If a team does not perform, the three people usually suffering the most criticism are the captain, coach and Chairman of Selectors, and if they not being supported we must ask why."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more