I’m totally frustrated, says Simmons

Melbourne, December 23

Coach Phil Simmons called on West Indies administrators on Wednesday to break the impasse that has star players unavailable for the Test series in Australia.

Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Andre Russell are in Australia but playing in the Twenty20 Big Bash League while their national side struggles. The West Indies were overpowered by an innings and 212 runs by the home side inside three days in the first Test in Hobart.

“I’m totally frustrated,” Simmons told reporters ahead of the second Test starting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday. “It’s enjoyable to see Russell bowling at 140 clicks (kph) and (batsman Dwayne) Bravo hitting three or four sixes and Chris (Gayle) in (the Big Bash). It is frustrating that we don’t have them yet playing in a Test series but it’s something that’s been going on for a while.”

Simmons, who was suspended in September after criticising selection for the tour of Sri Lanka before being reinstated last month, said it was a dilemma the Caribbean bosses had to resolve. “It’s up to the administration to work out how we get to the stage of, let’s say New Zealand, because they have similar things and they are getting all their players to play,” Simmons said.

“And it’s up to our administration and our bosses to find out how is the best way that we can get these guys on the pitch,” he added. Dwayne Bravo last week fired a salvo at those running the game in the Caribbean. “Times change and I think that is one of our problems, we tend to hold on too much to the past and not focus on the future. That has been our downfall,” he said. “It’s painful to see the state of our cricket.”

Bravo was stripped of the one-day captaincy a year ago then left out of the West Indies’ World Cup squad after the team he skippered walked out of their tour of India last year in a row over contracts. He has not been picked for one-dayers since and quit Test cricket this year after being ignored by selectors. “Those in charge have to look into themselves. The relationship between players, board members and management staff — it needs to get stronger and tighter. They (the board) need to have a lot more honesty,” he said.

Bravo’s remarks follow pace great Michael Holding saying the West Indies Cricket Board was “dysfunctional, untrustworthy and not liked by the employees”, while Brian Lara blasted its “bad governance”.