West Indies coach Phil Simmons is in no danger of losing his job as he has the “full backing” of the country’s cricket board with its president Ricky Skerritt insisting that he had taken permission to attend his father-in-law’s funeral.
Simmons found himself in a soup after Cricket West Indies board member Conde Riley, who also heads the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), had sought his “immediate removal” for moving out of the team’s bio-secure location in the UK to attend his father-in-law’s funeral ahead of the three-Test series against England beginning July 8.
But CWI chief Skerritt made it clear that Simmons job is “not in any way threatened”.
“I want to assure West Indies cricket fans that Phil Simmons still has the full backing of Cricket West Indies no matter what has been said. When all is said and done, Phil’s job is not in any way threatened by that letter,” Skerritt said during a conference call.
“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.”
Simmons is currently in self-isolation at the team’s on-site hotel at Old Trafford ahead of next week’s first Test in Southampton after being granted a request for compassionate leave before the squad left for Britain.
Simmons, who is in his second stint as West Indies coach, said he had no second thoughts about attending the funeral.
“This has not been an easy time for my family. My wife was very close to her father and his passing has hurt us. There was no question of me not going to the funeral,” said the 57-year-old former cricketer.
“My wife, my daughters and my son needed that support. Family is a huge thing for me.
“It won’t disrupt us, it will just make us a little stronger going into the Test series. Our focus is still on the series,” added Simmons, who first took up the position of West Indies coach in March 2015.
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