1 Oct 2015

West Indies coach suspended

11:58 am on 1 October 2015

The West Indies Cricket Board has suspended head coach Phil Simmons after he criticised selection policy for next month's tour of Sri Lanka.

Phil Simmons, while coaching Ireland at the Cricket World Cup, 2015.

Phil Simmons, while coaching Ireland at the Cricket World Cup, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a statement the board said it "has taken action to suspend the head coach pending an investigation into the issue."

"The head coach will not travel with the team on the tour of Sri Lanka."

"The management has advised that the responsibilities of the head coach will pass to (former test all-rounder) Eldine Baptiste, a member of the WICB selection panel, until the matter is cleared up," read the statement.

Simmons, a former Test batsman, had queried the continued omissions of all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, saying he was not getting the "best 50-over ODI squad".

Bravo and Pollard have not been selected to represent the region since playing in limited overs matches in South Africa in January.

Kieron Pollard playing for West Indies in South Africa, January, 2015.

Kieron Pollard playing for West Indies in South Africa, January, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The pair was then dropped for the Cricket World Cup, a move that some suggested was due to them leading a player revolt during the West Indies tour to India in October 2014.

West Indies players aborted the tour over a pay dispute with the WICB.

Bravo was the captain and Pollard a senior player in the team that ended the tour without playing the fifth one-dayer, a Twenty20 match or the three-Test series.

In January, the Windies star batsman, Chris Gayle, accused the WICB of victimisation after Bravo and Pollard were left out of the region's World Cup squad.

"There's no way you can tell me those guys shouldn't be in the team," Gayle said.

"For me it's got to be victimisation towards those two guys."

Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The website cricinfo reports Simmons' suspension follows comments he made in a press conference at the conclusion of West Indies training camp in Bridgetown over the weekend.

"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," Simmons said.

"The chairman [of the WICB], Mr [Clive] 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 need to be back."

Simmons was appointed coach of West Indies after coaching Ireland at this year's Cricket World Cup.

He led the team to a draw in its Test series against England in April-may and its Test series defeat by Australia in June.

West Indies will play two Tests, three one-dayers and two Twenty20s in Sri Lanka.

The first match is a three-day game against the President's XI in Colombo that starts on Oct. 8.

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