Suspended West Indies cricket coach Phil Simmons was due to meet with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) today in Antigua to answer to them over his public outburst over the exclusion of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo but the meeting will not come off as planned.
Guardian Media understands that Simmons has asked for some time before facing the WICB appointed Human Resource committee. Simmons was suspended last Monday after he alleged that there was “outside interference” in the selection process when it came to Bravo and Pollard.
Simmons, who is currently in England, made the comments at the end of the West Indies cricket team camp in Barbados last week. He said that “outside interference” in the selection process seems to have kept out the duo because he and chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd both wanted the two Red Force players back into the One Day International (ODI) team for the series of Sri Lanka. He added that Lloyd and himself were outvoted 3-2 by the other selectors, Courtney Walsh, Courtney Browne and Eldine Baptiste.
The WICB management immediately acted and suspended him for the tour to Sri Lanka and he was replaced by Baptiste who was always going to be on the tour as an “on tour” selector. The team arrived in Sri Lanka the day before and today Baptiste will have his first session at Colombo.
Guardian Media understands that Simmons will not appear before any disciplinary committee, at least not yet, as he first has to appear before the HR committee and WICB CEO Michael Muirhead. the HR committee has to be very careful how they go about this process because they have to abide by certain labour laws in Antigua.
He must then provide evidence to back up his claims and reveal where this outside interference is coming from. If the HR committee and the CEO finds that Simmons can’t substantiate his claims then he may be sent to the disciplinary committee where he will then be judged to see which level of offence he committed and what is the appropriate penalty.
Late last evening members of the HR committee received communication that Simmons had asked for some time before appearing before them and they are expected to meet within the next few days.
Simmons at this point is not being disciplined, according to an official of the WICB. “He made comments that did not find favour with the board and they have set up a committee to hear from him. He did not accuse anyone specifically, he did not say whether that ‘interference’ came from the board, so at this moment it is just purely an investigation to see whether there was anything that he did that warrants him facing the disciplinary committee.”