Phil Simmons rubbishes victimisation claims in West Indies cricket | Cricket News

CHENNAI: West Indies coach Phil Simmons on Thursday rubbished reports of rift within the squad and trashed claims of allrounder Odean Smith being victimised ahead of the fourth T20I against England. Smith was an unused bowler during the second T20I and was replaced by Rovman Powell in the third T20. Powell justified his selection by smashing an incredible 107 from 53 balls, including 10 sixes, which helped West Indies win by 20 runs and go 2-1 up in the five-match series.
“For me, that (victimisation) can’t happen when I’m here,” Simmons told a press conference which TOI attended on Thursday. “You don’t victimise anyone. You don’t try to pull down anyone. You try to make players a better person first of all, and a better cricketer afterwards. In my coaching career and even in my playing career, you look to help the man next to you. And that’s one thing I’ve been preaching in this team, and in all the teams that I’ve dealt with. So, there is no such thing as victimisation here and there will be none as long as I’m around,” he dismissed the allegations.
Simmons added that Odean didn’t find a place in the XI for the third T20I because he didn’t fit the team combination. “I think you’re going down the wrong line with this. We need to stop this foolishness that we’re going on with. We sit down and we look at the best team for the day. And if Odean wasn’t in the best team for the day, it is because we thought that Rovman was better suited for yesterday.
“All those who want to preach about victimisation, they need to look within themselves. There is no victimisation in the selection process in West Indies cricket. We need to start stepping away from that and let the people who are pushing that head know that is not happening here,” Simmons asserted.
For the record, Powell became only the third West Indian to score a T20I century after Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle. Simmons was all praise for Powell. “I think it was a brilliant innings from the start. The way he assessed the situation at the beginning is something that we’ve been talking about as a group and I’ve been looking forward to someone doing that in a match and he did that,” Simmons concluded.

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