Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies captain Jason Holder has revealed that he wants the ongoing controversy involving head coach Phil Simmons to be concluded as quickly as possible.
Simmons was suspended after he claimed that outside influence was stopping the West Indies from fielding the best possible ODI squad for their tour of Sri Lanka. The 52-year-old also revealed that he and chief selector Clive Lloyd wanted to include all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard in the squad, but were outvoted 3-2 in a selection meeting.
Simmons has since apologised for his outburst, but it remains to be seen whether he will keep hold of his position as head coach as he is set to attend a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) hearing sometime this week.
“The comments made by Phil were by Phil, and I can’t comment on those things,” Holder told reporters in Colombo. “It’s down to him and the board. We can only control the cricket because that’s what we came here to do. Whatever his situation, his fate lies with him and the board. Hopefully he can deal with that and be back to us as soon as possible.”
Holder also admitted that Simmons’ suspension couldn’t have come at a worse time as it occurred just days before the national team were supposed to assemble in Sri Lanka.
“No doubt [Simmons’ suspension] is a bit of setback for us, but at this present stage, all we can do is focus on the cricket,” Holder said. “I just hope that the situation with him is solved quickly because we would love to have him back. He’s been a wonderful inspiration to our team thus far.”
Meanwhile, Holder added that he was thrilled when Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced on Tuesday that the two-Test series would be named the Sobers-Tissera trophy after West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers and Sri Lanka batsman Michael Tissera, who was one of the country’s elite cricketers in the pre-Test era.
“Having the trophy named after Sir Garfield Sobers is something truly special,” Holder said. “He was one of the greatest to play the game and he still makes a major contribution to the game. Only recently he joined us in Barbados and wished everyone the very best for this tour of Sri Lanka.
“It is always good to see him and interact with him and it would be great for us to take home the trophy with his name on it. We got some pretty young faces in our squad and a lot of them look up to the past greats who played the game.”