WICB suspends head coach Phil Simmons
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has suspended head coach Phil Simmons following his comments on the selection of the One-Day International squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
Simmons has been stood down while the board conducts an investigation and he will not travel to Sri Lanka, where the team will play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in October and November.
Simmons, who took over the role as West Indies head coach following the 2015 World Cup, expressed his displeasure at the exclusion of all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the limited overs squad.
The 52-year-old further claimed that although Bravo and Pollard had the support of the Chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd and captain Jason Holder, the duo were overlooked due to outside influence.
"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," a furious Simmons said.
"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 2-3. Him and myself - the captain doesn't have a vote in this - but the captain also gave his views as why they need to be back," he added.
The WICB have moved quickly in response to Simmons' comments.
"The West Indies Cricket Board 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," a statement from the board confirmed.
"As a result, the Management of the WICB has taken action to suspend the Head Coach, pending an investigation into the issue.
"The Head Coach will not now travel with the team on the Tour of Sri Lanka."
Eldine Baptiste will take over Simmons' responsibilities as head coach in Sri Lanka, the board also confirmed.
Baptiste is a current member of the WICB Selection Panel.
West Indies are scheduled to begin their tour with a warm-up match at the R Premadesa Stadium in Colombo on 4th October, before the opening Test is in Galle from 14th October.
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