Cricket West Indies (CWI) could find itself paying up to US$400,000 to former coach Phil Simmons after admitting liability in an unfair dismissal case.
On Monday CricInfo reported that Simmons, who is now the coach for the little known Afganistan team, claimed damages of more than US$300,000 with a final sum to be agreed in an Antiguan court on March 26.
Simmons who is being represented by Antiguan based Queen’s Counsel E. Ann Henry and Barbadian lawyers Leslie F. Haynes Q.C and former cricket commentator Donna Symmonds in the case at the Industrial Court in Antigua, was axed in September 2016 after publicly complaining about outside interference in the selection of sides.
The news of his victory, comes days before the CWI holds presidential and vice presidential elections, carded for March 24, which cricket enthusiasts believe could see the end of a six year reign of current president Dave Cameron.
Sixty-two year old Ricky Skerrit, former West Indies Team Manager is bidding for the position of President while President of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Cricket Association Dr. Kishore Shallow 35, has presented himself for the position of vice president.
Skerrit, who is a member of the current, has complained during his campaign for the presidency of alleged squandering of large sums of money by Cameron during his tenure.
“If Cameron wants to talk about turmoil, perhaps he can explain why former head coaches, Ottis Gibson, Phil Simmons, and the several others who Cameron hastily and summarily dismissed, from both the men’s and women’s teams, have collectively cost CWI well over US $1million?” Skerritt, asked last month.
He also alleges that Cameron led the board to believe there would be no costs incurred in Simmons’ dismissal as it was made “for cause”.
Skerrit has received the backing of former West Indies Test Captain and right-handed batsman Sir Viv Richards and St. Vincent & the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the chair of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial subcommittee on Cricket.
When the CWI elections take place in Jamaica on Sunday, 12 votes, 2 each for six member territories, will be at stake.