Coach Simmons joins Windies squad after mandatory quarantine, Covid-19 test

West Indies coach Phil Simmons addresses a press conference ahead of the 3rd T20 cricket match against India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. File photo: PTI

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has returned to the field with players on Thursday after his mandatory quarantine and COVID-19 tests.

"He was part of the warm-up and pre-match preparations as West Indies continued their four-day warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford," read a statement from Windies Cricket.

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt confirmed that there is no threat to Simmons' job.

"I want to assure West Indies cricket fans that Phil Simmons still has the full backing of Cricket West Indies no matter what has been said. When all is said and done, Phil's job is not in any way threatened...he went through a very vigorous recruitment process nine months ago and was the best man we could have found for the job. He's still the best man," Skerritt said.

Simmons had left the bio-secure bubble in Manchester to attend a funeral and has been self-isolating since then in his room on-site, ESPNcricinfo reported.

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Speaking on Wednesday Simmons had said that he was fully focused on preparing the team to beat England and retain the prestigious Wisden Trophy.

"It won't disrupt us, it will just make us a little stronger going into the Test series. Our focus is still on the series," he said.

"This has not been an easy time for my family. My wife was very close to her father and his passing has hurt us. There was no question of me not going to the funeral. My wife, my daughters and my son needed that support. I had to do what is right for my family, just as I will do what is right for CWI for the series," Simmons said.

All international cricket has been suspended since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the series between England and West Indies will mark the return of international cricket.

The West Indies squad will live, train and play in a 'bio-secure' environment in England during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.

The bio-secure protocols will also restrict movement in and out of the venues. England and West Indies will take on each other in the three-match Test series.

The first Test will be played at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on July 8.



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