West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has said that the cricket board decision to sack ‘trusted’ head coach Phil Simmons, shortly before the squad’s departure to Dubai for the ongoing limited-overs series against Pakistan, has left the Caribbean side demoralised.
“We went on, we won the (T20) World Cup. We played well in the tri-nations against two very powerful ODI teams and yet still, moments before the team flies to Dubai, they fired the coach, so it will definitely affect the morale of the team and the players.” Bravo was quoted, as saying by Jamaica Observer
While describing Simmons as the ‘most successful’ coach of the team, the 32-year-old revealed that former had built up a very positive kind of environment with the players, something which is now missing in the West Indies squad.
“I’m very passionate about the game, so whenever I step on a cricket field I give a hundred per cent. But the honest truth is, it is very difficult for a bunch of guys – collectively – 15 guys to switch on and go play in a series when on the day of the team travelling, they find out that their head coach was fired.
“Which organisation in the world would do things like that?” Bravo said while questioning the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) the reason behind Simmons’ sudden departure.
“Simmons was the most successful coach the team had in recent years in his short stint. I’m sure the people of the Caribbean see the positive signs with and within the team,” the veteran all-rounder added.
The effect of Simmons’ removal on the squad was visibly seen as West Indies went on to lose all the five limited-overs games against Pakistan till date with a series of ordinary performances.
Bravo, whose only half-century came during the T20 series, asserted that the players and the management appeared ‘lost’ throughout the series.
“I’ve been in the team for 12 years, and if it is one coach I actually see come there and the players really, really look up to and really enjoyed playing for (was Simmons). The players had that trust with Simmons and it is no longer there anymore,” Bravo insisted.
“I was there in Dubai and basically players were lost, the management team looked lost. We were looking like school kids again. The team meetings had no sort of positive input or anything like that. It was like we were just there,” he continued.
Prior to the Pakistan series, the WICB said that Simmons has been dismissed from his position with immediate effect due to “differences in culture and strategic approach, thus leaving Joel Garner in charge of the side for the UAE tour.