Cricket coach defends players


Enock Muchinjo

ZIMBABWE cricket coach Phil Simmons put on a brave face on his return from a disappointing tour of Bangladesh where his young charges lost both the Test and One-Day Intern

ational series against the lowly-placed sub-continental country.


Simmons addressed a media conference yesterday adamant that his side had succumbed to inexperience, saying the players got “carried away” after going 2-0 up in the ODI series to allow Bangladesh to claw back and snatch a maiden series win.


Former West Indies batsmen Simmons was full of praise for his captain Tatenda Taibu, who played a true captain’s role throughout the tour and got his first century, a sublime 153 runs in the second Test in Dhaka.


“Tatenda played well and showed that he has matured in his position as skipper. He really came right on tour and must continue improving into a fine player”, said Simmons “Barney Rogers also played extremely well in the one-dayers and deserved his man of the series trophy.”


Simmons refused to be drawn into blaming his players for the defeat in the second Test after throwing away a good position, saying the team’s performance was “beyond many people’s expectation”. He said: “When you consider the way we came back in the second Test, you see a lot of talent and promise in the team.”


On the criticism of him by selector Richie Kashula on the continued use of under-performing batsman Dion Ebrahim in the ODI’s, Simmons said he stuck to Ebrahim based on his performance in practice sessions.


“Dion showed confidence in the nets and I selected him on what I saw in practice.”

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