Phil Simmons has not been fired, but he has been asked to answer “breaches of confidentiality”, according to the WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead, after the West Indies coach was suspended because he had alleged outside interference in the selection of the ODI squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
Muirhead said they hoped to reach a decision on Simmons’ future in the next seven days.
“What has happened with Phil Simmons is most unfortunate, rest assured he has not been fired,” he said. “Let us say he has been called to answer breaches of confidentiality and bringing the WICB into disrepute. He will be given a fair hearing by a panel and a decision will be made within the boundaries of our own HR policy.
“During the process he will continue to enjoy the full benefits of his full remuneration. The mater will be dealt with in an expeditious manner and it is our intention to have a decision within the next seven working days.”
Clive Lloyd, the West Indies chairman of selectors, also issued a statement saying such outbursts could not be excused. Simmons had said that he and Lloyd had been in agreement about wanting Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard back in the ODI squad, but had been outvoted 3-2 by the other selectors.
“Phil has apologised to all for his recent public statements and how strongly he would have felt on certain selection matters of the team,” Lloyd said. “We agreed – at times – that we will have a difference of opinion, but we cannot condone such outbursts. Therefore, we will always seek discussion and dialogue at every stage of the selection process and work towards the best interest of West Indies cricket.”
Simmons was suspended on Monday, two days after his outburst in which he said he had not been given the best ODI squad even though the captain Jason Holder also wanted Bravo and Pollard in the team. His comments came before the squad was officially announced by the WICB. An email from Muirhead informed Simmons of his suspension with immediate effect, six months after he had taken up the job. Former fast bowler and selector Eldine Baptiste was handed the role of interim coach for the tour of Sri Lanka.