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Simmons dismisses Test series, CPL clash as conflict
West Indies coach Phil Simmons says that there is no conflict between the upcoming Test series against India and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL)T20 Tournament happening at the same time in the Caribbean.
The centrally retained West Indies players have not been allowed to be drafted for the 2016 CPL T20 tournament because the Indian Test series in the region, will clash with the tournament in July and August.
Speaking on the matter Simmons said: “There is no conflict there, or no choice, the players have been retained for the Test series, they know that and they will play the Test matches.”
Looking at the West Indies next international assignment which is the World T20 in India, the former West Indies all rounder said he was very happy going in as one of the favourites. “The tournament should be brilliant. A bit disappointed that we not going in as one but we will be going in as two and looking to finish the tournament by winning and getting back to the number one position in the rankings.”
The West Indies will be missing three big name players in T&T’s Keiron Pollard (injured), Sunil Narine (not yet ready with his remodelled bowling action) and Darren Bravo (who opted out to focus on Tests) but Simmons is still confident : “We are in a good position going into the tournament as one of the favourites and we will be giving it a good shot. We seem to be producing players for everybody around the world and this says of the talent we have at our disposal in our squad. Look at Carlos Brathwaite, another one who just came out the system and has been fetching big money for his services.”
Simmons added that the experience of his players in the Indian Premier League will work very well for his unit. “Anybody who has played IPL will be a huge advantage for us. Knowing the conditions is always a great help and they will be expected to make a contribution to the plan.”
He is very happy the impact T20 has made to cricket in the region :”T20 in itself has motivated a new generation of cricketers and we are seeing that in the Caribbean. Last year I looked at the crowds during the semis and finals of the CPL in Trinidad and noticed just how big the format has gotten down here.
“T20 is plenty pressure for the players, because how I see it is, Tests adjust by session, ODI adjust by overs and T20s by balls. So you have to be sharp and think on your feet and our players have done that well, hence their success in the format.” The former Ireland coach was also very happy with the success of the West Indies U-19 team which won the World Cup on Saturday against India. “The young team has just been brilliant and the talent is obviously there. The key is now when they come back what we do next,” he ended.