Relationship with West Indies Cricket Board strained: Coach Phil Simmons

Bridetown (Barbados), April 15: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has hinted at a strained relationship with both West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron and its director of cricket Richard Pybus ever since he was suspended for controversial comments about team selection last September.

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Simmons revealed while there was communication with both officials, it was not extensive and pointed out there had been no personal congratulatory messages on the recent Twenty20 World Cup success, reports CMC.

Relationship with West Indies Cricket Board strained: Coach Simmons

"Relationship is a difficult word. He communicates via e-mails but he has not spoken to me since the suspension," Simmons was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo on Thursday in reference to Pybus.

"It's sad because this is not about him or me, this is about West Indies cricket. There has not even been any personal or team congratulatory message on the World Cup win."

Trinidadian Simmons, who has been in the job for exactly a year now, said he had a similar relationship with Cameron.

"It is the same thing. It was good when I first came in. I would get the occasional text message and I earned a big hug when we won the Test match in Barbados against England," he explained.

"But since my suspension there has been no communication, not verbal nor written, and again no congratulatory message."

Simmons took up the West Indies role following the One-Day World Cup last March and presided over a 1-1 draw in a three-Test series against England and 0-2 loss to Australia.

Ahead of the Test tour of Sri Lanka, he was slapped with a suspension by the WICB after complaining to journalists about "interference from outside" in the selection of the one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka.

Simmons was referring to the continued exclusion of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.

After missing the tour of Sri Lanka, Simmons was reinstated for the Australia series after tendering a public apology for his comments. However, despite the difficulties of the last year, he said he remained highly motivated for the task ahead.

"For me it is not difficult to remain motivated because the ship is West Indies cricket. The ship is not the president or the director of cricket or Phil Simmons," the former Test all-rounder said.

"West Indies cricket means more to me than anything else. Especially working with the younger players, getting them to understand what they have to do at the international level, keeps my head up all the time."

"My professionalism also helps me to continually to put in my best in my job."


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