Simmons refuses to get drawn in on players who opted out of tour

The West Indies cricket team is now in Bangladesh. They will face the hosts in a three-match ODI and two-match Test series in the coming weeks. For this series, the West Indies board had to announce the squads with 12 regular players missing, who opted out citing concern over Covid-19. Phil Simmons, coach of West Indies, refused to criticise their decision.

Right after arriving in Bangladesh, the West Indies team got into a three-day strict quarantine. On the second day of this period, they underwent a Covid-19 test and all the members returned negative.

After the three-day quarantine, they will undergo another test and those who return negative will join an intra-squad training camp which will last for four days, as per the schedule. After a seven-day period in total, they will get the help of the local support staff.

“I can’t say that their decision was wrong,” Simmons said Tuesday, at a virtual press conference. “Everyone has their own way of thinking. They have made their decision. We can’t decide for them.”

“The board gave everyone the chance to make their decision. Some cricketers opted out for the first series, some for the second, and some didn’t come here. I believe everyone has their own reason. So we can’t judge them for skipping a tour,” Simmons added.

Since there are many newbies in the West Indies team, Simmons said he will arrange the best XI watching the players in the nets.

“Our captain will bat at the middle or late-middle-order. The team will be built keeping him at the centre. For now, I can say that everything depends on the practice sessions. And at the same time, we have to take the conditions in Bangladesh into consideration. Let’s see how we start the practice sessions,” he added.

The West Indian coach believes the new names have got a golden chance to prove their mettle in international cricket, and will fight hard to cement their place in the national team.

“We would like to start preparation keeping the World Cup in mind. I think those who came to play this series are very eager to prove their prowess at the bigger stage of the game. None came here to fill the vacant place left by others. Everyone has their own goal to cement a place in the national team. I would like to send a message to all the players that one can remove them from the national team if they do well in this series,” he further added.

Simmons addressed Bangladesh as the “clear” favourite of this series as the Tigers are set to play at the home ground, though, there will be no support for them in the gallery this time around due to Covid-19 restriction. And at the same time, the West Indian coach insisted that they came to Bangladesh to win the series against the hosts.

Source: United News of Bangladesh