West Indies coach Phil Simmons dismisses claims Odean Smith was ‘victimised’

West Indies coach Phil Simmons and the CWI board have both rubbished reports of allrounder Odean Smith being ‘victimised’.

Smith was left out of the West Indies team for the third T20I against England in favour of eventual man of the match Rovman Powell.

After the match a voice note circulated among the cricket media covering the series, claiming that Smith was being victimised and that a meeting was set to take place with CWI officials.

Simmons dismissed the allegations out of hand, saying there was no such victimisation in the West Indies camp.

“For me, that can’t happen when I’m here,” Simmons said. “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.”

Simmons was left baffled and angered by the allegations.

“I think you’re going down the wrong line with this,” Simmons continued.

“Let me explain something to you, and I’m saying it again.

“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 sit out there and preach about victimisation, I think they need to look within themselves.

“There’s no victimisation in selection in West Indies cricket, and there’s no victimisation in this team in playing anyone. So we need to start stepping away from that and letting the people who are pushing this know that that’s not happening. I’m not going to be answering any more questions about things like that.”

CWI also issued a statement decrying the allegations.

“Contrary to the unsubstantiated statements, containing unfounded and mischievous allegations, CWI is satisfied that there is no discord between the Team Captain and any member of the West Indies team,” it read.