New West Indies coach Phil Simmons has decided that he will be the man standing between the West Indies senior team selection panel and his players.
The former West Indies opening batsman has asked the selection panel to inform him of any player who is dropped from the team, since he wants to be the person to convey the message.
Simmons, together with Test skipper Denesh Ramdin will join the other selectors Clive Lloyd (chairman), Eldine Baptiste, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Browne, to select the West Indies team to face Australia in two Test matches that will begin on June 3.
In the past, the selectors were the ones who relayed this information. However, in a new policy direction, Simmons says he wants to maintain a relationship with any player who no longer finds favour with the selectors. He wants to keep the communication door between himself and his players open.
The former Test opener sees his role as keeping everyone in the know as far as where their careers are involved and instead of them learning in the media that they have been dropped, he wants to take a more caring role in terms of dealing with his players.
This has been well received by the players who have been able to rally around Simmons in his short tenure thus far. Simmons opened his account with a 1-1 draw in the three Test series against England in the Caribbean recently and has won the respect of his players according to insiders.
According to one insider, he has been tough, yet caring and the players have responded nicely to him. “The dressing room is a good place to be these days. Simmons has come in and has done a good job in holding good relations between the players and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). He has shown that respect and care for his players but they have been made to understand that he is a no nonsense man and is using discipline as his key word in rebuilding this team.”
Simmons did wonders for Irish cricket during his nine years as coach, lifting them from just another associate team, to one that was feared by several of the Test playing countries.
Simmons guided the Irish to victory over the West Indies in the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.