"I think if you want to represent West Indies, you will make yourself available" - Phil Simmons on WI players not playing international cricket

Andre Russell has not played for the West Indies since 2021. (Credits: Getty)
Andre Russell has not played for the West Indies since 2021. (Credits: Getty)

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons recently admitted that the best T20 players not representing the national side hurts the team. Simmons reflected that players have options to choose from and that administrators can't beg them to play for the West Indies.

With the 2022 T20 World Cup two months away, the Caribbeans are yet to identify their best eleven. Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are currently plying their trade in The Hundred in England. Meanwhile, Oshane Thomas, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Fabian Allen, and Roston Chase are struggling with fitness issues.

Ahead of the T20 series against New Zealand, Simmons lamented the non-involvement of the T20 stars. The 59-year-old said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo:

"It hurts. There's no other way to put it. But what can you do? I don't think that I should be begging people to play for their countries. I think if you want to represent West Indies, you will make yourself available. Life has changed, in that people have the opportunities to go different places and if they choose that over West Indies, that's just how it is."

Citing Andre Russell's absence chief selector Desmond Haynes stated the all-rounder's reason for his unavailability is a mystery. He said:

"From what I have gathered, I think he is unavailable because he hasn't made himself available. I will love everyone to play for West Indies. But you must realize that the guys have options now, and if guys are choosing other franchises in front of West Indies, then we have to pick from who is available to us."

The Jamaican all-rounder hasn't donned the maroon jersey since last year's T20 World Cup while Narine hasn't done so since August of 2019.

"It just depends on the game, the situation in the game" - Phil Simmons on the batting order

Phil Simmons. (Credits: Getty)
Phil Simmons. (Credits: Getty)

The Trinidadian underlined that the Windies will continue to be flexible with the batting line-up, depending on the requirement and situation. He said:

"So far we have been experimenting; as we get to the end of these games, we're going to have a better idea of how we want them to be put in the order and how we want them to go in. Shimron could bat higher and Pooran could bat lower. It just depends on the game, the situation in the game."

The first T20I against New Zealand will take place on August 11 in Kingston.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar