Simmons wants to talk Test cricket with WI big guns
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
New West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, says he wants to meet to discuss Test cricket with five West Indies players who are among the top performers in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
Simmons says he wants to hold talks with Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard to discuss their possible return to the regional Test team.
The players are expected back in the Caribbean after yesterday's highly anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) final involving four West Indies superstars.
"I hope to sit down with them and discuss my, and the selectors' vision for how we want West Indies to play Test cricket going forward, and how they possibly fit into that," Simmons told Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
"I can't rule anybody in or out of consideration until I do so."
Bravo and Lendl Simmons had announced their Test retirements, while Pollard took an "indefinite break" from first-class cricket earlier this year.
Russell indicated he was not physically capable of playing the long form, and Narine has been sidelined due to questions about his bowling action.
"Obviously, everybody wants to see those guys playing Test cricket for the West Indies because they are certainly good enough to play that format," said Simmons, who has been praised for inspiring the regional side to a gutsy come-from-behind home series draw against England.
"I'm not aware of Bravo's statement, but I haven't spoken to any of them since I became coach."
Simmons, who was appointed coach in March, says he is eager to encourage a better relationship between the West Indies team and the region's IPL participants.