Simmons sacking led to Windies meltdown, claims Pollard
PORT OF SPAIN, CMC:
Kieron Pollard has described shambolic behind-the-scenes operations of the West Indies team in the recent Twenty20 and one-day series against Pakistan, and has argued that the chaos resulted from the sudden sacking of head coach Phil Simmons on the eve of the tour.
The all-rounder said Simmons' premature departure had been a "spirit-dampening moment" for the West Indies and had led to disarray in the camp and low team morale, with players confused over exactly who had taken over responsibility for the unit.
Pollard's assertions come two weeks after fellow Trinidadian and West Indies teammate Dwayne Bravo claimed that Simmons' axing had been a major factor in the side's poor performances.
"I had to ask the question because I wasn't sure who was in charge," Pollard told I95.5 FM Radio in Trinidad.
Pollard, who played in both the T20 and the one-day series, said with the management structure unclear, information was also difficult to come by during the tour.
"One person asked 'coach, what's the plan for tomorrow?' We got no response, but then we saw the cricketing schedule coming from the physio (CJ Clark), so we were in shock," Pollard continued.
"And then at other times you asked questions to the management staff, the media guy [Philip Spooner] was responding to some of those messages.
West Indies produced limp performances as they suffered 3-0 drubbings in the both the T20 and one-day series to Pakistan earlier this month in the United Arab Emirates.
On the day of the squad's departure for the tour, the West Indies Cricket Board announced that it had sacked Simmons after just 18 months in charge, over what it termed 'differences in culture and strategic approach."
Bravo subsequently argued that the move had demoralised the side, leading to poor on-field performances and Pollard echoed similar sentiments.
The first sign that all was not well in the Windies camp came when they looked anything but reigning T20 World champions as they slid to heavy defeats in the format in which they are strongest.
They went down by margins of nine wickets and 16 runs in back-to-back games in Dubai and then crashed to crashed to an eight-wicket defeat in Abu Dhabi three days later when they could only muster 103 for five from their 20 overs batting first.