“My family and I are relieved that we have been able to finally close this matter, and I am pleased that it has been done so amicably.” © Getty
Phil Simmons, the former West Indies Test opener, accepted Cricket West Indies’ apology along with a financial settlement over his unceremonious dismissal as coach in 2016. Simmons was first appointed coach of West Indies post the 2015 World Cup. He was suspended in 2015 for a period after his criticism of the selections for the tour of Sri Lanka, and then subsequently sacked despite leading West Indies into the 2016 World Twenty20 title in India.
Ricky Skerritt, the recently-appointed Cricket West Indies President, delivered his personal apologies to Simmons in Antigua after having had campaigned for the post earlier with the assurance of fixing relations with former players. While the apology was in public, the details of the financial settlement, however, would remain confidential, the board said.
“We would like to apologise to you for referring to your appointment as a ‘mistake’. Cricket West Indies did not make a mistake when we selected you as our head coach,” he told Simmons on Wednesday (March 28). “I was involved in the interview panel that recruited Phil Simmons from a long list of competitors and he was the best candidate,” he added in a press release. “Subsequently, based on the results he produced on the field, he proved himself to be a very competent coach in his time with West Indies.”
Simmons, who is currently involved with the Afghanistan cricket team, is helping them prepare for the World Cup in England, was happy with the apology and putting the issue behind him.
“My family and I are relieved that we have been able to finally close this matter, and I am pleased that it has been done so amicably,” he said. “Following the election on the weekend I am more confident than I have ever been that the future of West Indies cricket is in good hands.
“I am a very proud West Indian and I hope that in the future I get the opportunity to try and help move our cricket forward again.”