CWI chief says Simmons’ job safe despite attending funeral

Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has come to the aid of head coach Phil Simmons after the latter came under scrutiny for going out of the bio-secure bubble to attend a funeral recently.

Simmons was heavily criticised by Conde Riley, who heads the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), and he had said that the head coach’s actions endangered the lives of the players in his side who are currently in England for the three-Test series.

After Riley had asked for Simmons to be sacked, Skerritt allayed any such fears and said his job is safe and he remains the best man to lead the team.

“I want to assure West Indies cricket fans that Phil Simmons still has the full backing of CWI, no matter what has been said,” Skerritt said during a video conference as per Sky Sports.

“When all is said and done, Phil’s job is not in any way threatened by that letter. He went through a very vigorous recruitment process nine months ago and was the best man we could have found for the job. He’s still the best man,” he added.

Simmons had taken permission from CWI for attending the funeral and the board had allowed him to do so but that didn’t stop Riley from calling for his head.

“I am being bombarded by concerned parents and members of the BCA. This behaviour is inconsiderate and reckless,” Riley was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“It endangers the lives of those 25 young men in the UK and in fact the entire management team and cannot be tolerated.

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

Simmons is currently under mandatory self-isolation as he came out of the bio-secure bubble put in place by the authorities for the safety of everyone involved in the Test series starting July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.