KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, says the regional governing body was forced to part ways with former coach Phil Simmons after concluding it had been “a bad decision” to hire the Trinidadian in the first place.
In an astonishing admission during an interview with a radio station here, Cameron said the Windies performances along with Simmons’ public “utterances” had left CWI with little choice but to reverse course.
Simmons was abruptly sacked in September, 2016, six months after overseeing the capture of the Twenty20 World Cup title in India, for what CWI termed “differences in culture and strategic approach”.
“I can’t apologise for it, I’m a trader. And if you make a bad decision, you don’t sit down with a bad decision and try to make it right. You trade out of it and make a better decision,” Cameron said.
“I think we made a bad decision when we hired Phil and we had to get out of that situation otherwise we would not be where we are today. If you look at the performances, the utterances …”
He continued: “For the first time in West Indies cricket I can safely say with the board of directors that everybody is on the same page from the front office to the back office. We feel that the coach, the captain, the people in the office, are of one accord and that we are now looking at standards etc that we need to move West Indies cricket forward.”
In a statement last week, CWI said it had never denied liability in the Simmons debacle “for no other reason than to ensure an amicable resolution in the interest of West Indies Cricket”.
The organisation also said negotiations were ongoing and hoped to have the matter settled before the court date of March 26.
Cameron said the reason the situation had dragged on was because CWI believed the claim for damages was too high.
“This whole matter, the entire board is fully aware of it. This is no secret … since we parted company with Phil, we’ve been negotiating his settlement,” the Jamaican explained.
“It’s normal practice in sporting organisations all across the world [when] you move on from a coach, there’s normally a contractual period where you negotiate what happens after that.
“We believe the number he’s asking for his too high so we’re negotiating. Whatever the number (claim for damages) is, it’s a negotiation and that negotiation continues.”
Cameron is seeking a fourth consecutive term as CWI president in elections here next Sunday, but is receiving a strong challenge from former St Kitts and Nevis cabinet minister, Ricky Skerritt.
However, the incumbent has already secured the support of Windward Islands, Guyana and Barbados, with each of the six territorial boards having two votes. Seven votes are required to win the election.
Skerritt and running mate, Dr Kishore Shallow, are being supported by Leeward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago, leaving the Jamaica Cricket Association vote critical.
Cameron said he was confident of another term.
“When you have served for the last couple years and you get the majority of the board – and when I say majority, three out of six [boards] – throwing their weight behind you and the independent directors, it says you’re doing something right. I’m looking forward to continuing,” he said.