Off The Field

Phil Simmons Says he Was Racially Abused in League Cricket in England

Written by Vipin Darwade

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has claimed that he was racially abused during the time he played league cricket in England. Simmons, currently the head coach of the touring West Indies team here, did not specify in which English league he was racially targeted.

“I encountered quite a bit (of racism) up in the leagues. In county cricket I haven’t really encountered that much. But I have encountered it in the leagues,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“It’s not a nice thing to face. Especially in the leagues where you’re by yourself sometimes. It affected my wife when I was up there. It’s not a nice thing. I played in three or four different leagues. It was one particular league up in the north east.”

Racism has become a topic of global debate following the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the USA. Several cricketers, including West Indian stars like Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy, have opened up about their own experiences while voicing support to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

Simmons said his team too would be showing its support to the movement when the three-Test series against England begins on July 8.

“We definitely are thinking about things that we can do to show our solidarity with the movement. We definitely have plans to show our unity and our backing to it. The chats with the English are on-going and by the end of this week we’ll see what we can do together,” Simmons added.

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Vipin Darwade