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West Indies Cricket

CWI defends Simmons after Riley’s calling for firing 

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CWI defends Simmons after Riley’s calling for firing 
Pic: CWI A-A+

|| Desk Report || 

The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) President Conde’ Riley has called for the ‘immediate removal’ of Phil Simmons as head coach of West Indies.

Riley has described Simmons’ decision to attend a family funeral as ‘inconsiderate and reckless’ and claimed it has ‘endangered the lives’ of the rest of the touring party.

“I just heard on the radio that our head coach Mr Phil Simmons attended a funeral recently and is now being quarantined as a result. If this is true I am calling for his immediate removal as head coach,” said Conde’ Riley, who is also on the board of directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI).

“I’m being bombarded by concerned parents and members of the BCA. This behaviour is inconsiderate and reckless. It endangers the lives of those 25 young men in the UK and in fact the entire management team and cannot be tolerated,” Riley wrote to board members in an email.

“The English press will have a feast on his judgement and I suggest we act swiftly,” he added.

Simmons, who is based in the UK, was allowed to leave the West Indies training base to attend the funeral of his father-in-law at the end of last week. As a consequence, he was obliged to go into quarantine in the team hotel upon his return.

A statement from CWI at the time confirmed that Simmons had gained permission to attend the funeral ahead of the tour.

“The entire process of his exit and re-entry to the bio-secure location was approved and managed by the medical teams of the CWI and the ECB and strictly followed protocols set up prior to the tour which addressed such scenarios,” the statement said.

“Following his return, Simmons has been in self-isolation away from other members of the squad, exactly as had always been planned. He has so far undergone two Covid-19 tests since Friday - both of which came back negative. He will have another test on Wednesday before he will re-join the squad as they prepare for the three-match #RaiseTheBat Series against England."

Nine members of West Indies’ 14-man Test squad are from Barbados, as well as four of the squad’s 11 reserve players. Three further players - Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Darren Bravo - opted out of selection prior to the series due to their concerns about the pandemic.

Riley’s email comes a week before West Indies begin the three-Test series in England with the first match scheduled from July 8 in Southampton. West Indies hold the Wisden Trophy after their 2-1 win at home last year, but have not won a Test series in England since 1988.

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