Former coach Simmons slams Zimbabwe Cricket

Published: Sunday, October 2, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:Phil Simmons, the former Zimbabwe coach, has attacked Zimbabwe Cricket's (ZC) administrators, saying that they have "no understanding of cricket". Simmons is angry at the handling of his dismissal by the board and believes that he was forced out by politics 13 months into a three-year contract.

"It is nasty and reeks of personal politics from a few individuals," said Simmons. "We all know the team is not doing well, but according to the constitution, the board must meet and decide these matters. But the decision was taken by a few people.

" Simmons refuses to name those responsible because he is waiting to negotiate a deal over the remainder of his contract, but sources close to the team's management say that Ozias Bvute, the Zimbabwe board's managing director who is alleged to have close links with Robert Mugabe's government, was responsible.

Simmons was replaced by Kevin Curran, the former Zimbabwe fast bowler, before the recent 2-0 series defeat against India, after a sequence of communication blunders that reached farcical proportions.

After Curran leaked his appointment to the press, it took ZC officials 36 hours to tell Simmons that he had been replaced. "It was a mess," said Simmons. "But that is how it is when you deal with people who have no understanding of cricket, of being a coach or even being in the dressing-room."

After taking over from Geoff Marsh in July 2004, Simmons's team failed to win a Test match and became the first side to lose a Test series to Bangladesh.

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