Despite sending a strongly worded apology to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) coach Phil Simmons has been suspended and will miss the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.
The WICB revealed yesterday that they learned 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 decided to take action to suspend the head coach pending an investigation into the issue.
In the meantime, the management has advised the coaching responsibilities of the head coach would 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.”
T&T Guardian investigations revealed Simmons sent an apology to the management of the WICB and also the selection panel which included chairman Clive Lloyd, Courtney Walsh, Eldine Baptiste and Courtney Browne.
It understood that the Trinidadian mentioned in the apology he was sorry for the outburst, as his actions was a fit of madness akin to a schoolboy.
The T&T Guardian also understands that on the weekend CEO of the WICB, Michael Muirhead, held discussions with cricket operations manager Richard Pybus and they decided to suspend Simmons pending an investigation.
Simmons will have to wait to be called before the WICB disciplinary committee headed by Barbadian Justice Adrian Saunders, Justice Desiree Bernard, Dr Lloyd Barnett, Desmond Haynes and Verlyn Faustin, the WICB corporate secretary.
At the heart of the matter was the omission of all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard from the West Indies ODI team.
Simmons revealed that “interference from outside” at a selection meeting on September 23 had kept all-rounders Bravo and Pollard out of the ODI side.
He said 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 the best 50-over ODI squad that we can select in the Caribbean,” Simmons had 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 needed to be back.”
Bravo and Pollard have not been considered for ODI selection since they were dropped for the series in South Africa in January this year and their omission from the World Cup squad generated plenty of debate regionally and internationally.