'WI shouldn't be begging people to play' - Simmons admits players shunning Windies difficult but expects people to want to play for team

By Sports Desk August 10, 2022

West Indies coach Phil Simmons insists the team will have to make do with the players that are available as the unit continues to suffer the absence of a few high-profile players.

Chief among that group is Sunil Narine, who was once ranked as the world’s number one spinner and a regular feature in T20 leagues around the world.  Narine has not appeared in a match for the team since 2019.  Also missing are the likes of big-hitter Andre Russell and Evin Lewis who have not featured for the team since last year’s T20 World Cup.  Russell has been unavailable while Lewis has not taken the required fitness tests to be included in the team selections.

All three players have, however, continued to take part in the lucrative T20 leagues around the world, despite not playing for the regional team since last year's World cup debacle.  Simmons admits that not having all the players the team would love to have available is not the ideal scenario but expects the cricketers to be motivated to play for the West Indies.

“I’ve made it a point of duty, anywhere that I’ve gone, I don’t think you should be begging people to play for their country,” Simmons told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think if you want to represent the West Indies, you make yourself available for West Indies cricket,” he added.

“Life has changed in that people have the opportunity to go to different places, if they pick that over the West Indies then that’s how it is, but it doesn’t make sense me going out there and begging you to play for the West Indies because I don’t know if you will come with as strong a heart as I want you to have.”

The West Indies are currently trailing New Zealand 1-0 in the ongoing T20 series.

 

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