WEST Indies (WI) head coach Phil Simmons is now self-isolated in his Old Trafford hotel room as a health precaution having attended a funeral on Friday.
Simmons must spend a minimum of five days away from the rest of the group and also return to two negative coronavirus tests during this duration if he is to return to leading the team’s training.
According to Daily Mail, the WI coach will have to take a back-seat role in this weekend’s build-up for Monday’s second intra-squad warm-up match.
Although Simmons will be unable to engage in hands-on coaching, his Hilton hotel room overlooks the team’s training pitch. This means he would still have a chance to assess the second of two internal warm-up matches from his own balcony.
Additionally, espncricinfo.com reported that the burden will fall on assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith ahead of Monday’s four-day, first-class fixture, with Floyd Reifer helping out as batting coach.
The WI squad is currently in Manchester preparing for the start of an historic closed-door three-Test series against hosts England from July 8. This series is the International Cricket Council’s first major tourney since the global pandemic.
WI player Alzarri Joseph downplayed the significance of this unexpected development surrounding the team coach.
“That doesn't really disrupt our preparations," he said. "We have our jobs to do – we have our preparation to keep going with. We have a very big coaching staff here that are very supportive of each other, so that's not really a problem for anyone.”