Bassarath joins in Simmons controversy
West Indies Cricket Board director Azim Bassarath has disagreed with how the decision to suspend head coach Phil Simmons was taken.
Bassarath, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president, said any decision of that magnitude should have been first discussed and sanctioned by the board of directors.
“It is strange that a decision is made by the management committee concerning something as serious as this and it did not come to the board,” Bassarath told the Trinidad Guardian newspaper.
“When Simmons was interviewed for the post of coach, the board had to ratify it, so I don’t agree with the management committee making this decision all by themselves.”
The WICB announced Monday it was suspending Simmons for the tour of Sri Lanka, following his outburst to media on Friday regarding the selection of the one-day international squad for the upcoming series.
A release from the WICB said “management” had taken the decision and had also appointed selector Eldine Baptiste, a former Windies seamer, to serve as interim coach.
The outspoken Bassarath said the WICB may have acted prematurely in suspending Simmons.
“Simmons never said where the ‘outside’ interference came from, and it is shocking to see the haste with which he was suspended,” he said.
“This to me is very strange. They could have called him in and found out where he thinks the outside influence was coming from and then go from there. Supposed it was coming from people in the public domain?
“The management committee by their actions is making it look as if he is speaking about the WICB when he talks about outside influence.”
Last Friday, Simmons took the unusual step of publicly criticising the selection process after the omission of all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka next month.
Speaking to media in Barbados following the end of a West Indies training camp, he claimed there had been “interference from outside”, and as a result, West Indies would not have their best team available.