West Indies head coach Phil Simmons thinks that the current Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest that is going on around the world and which is very vivid in England can actually spur his side on when they meet England in the upcoming three-Test series in England.
Simmons speaking via Zoom from Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday was responding to a question on what the West Indies team will do to show their support for the movement. BLM protests came about after 46-year-old black American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.
Simmons said: "As captain Holder (Jason) said we have spoken about how we will show our support and we will do it again closer to the Test match. If players need something to motivate them to play for the West Indies then they should not be here. However, we have seen in the past that when something stirs the pot, we respond well."
West Indies had just arrived in England in 1976. The past few series had not been too comfortable for them. Australia had thrashed them 5-1. Back home, they had just about managed to beat India 2-1.
On the eve of the first Test at Trent Bridge, Greig said: “I like to think that people are building these West Indians up because I am not really sure they’re as good as everyone thinks they are.
“Sure, they’ve got a couple of fast bowlers, but you must remember that if the West Indian get on top they are magnificent cricketers, but if they’re down, they grovel. And I intend, with the help of Closey (Brian Close) and a few others, to make them grovel.
"Viv Richards checked the dictionary definition of the offending word and later remarked, “In other words, he was going to have us down on our knees, begging for mercy. This was the greatest motivating speech the England captain could have given to any West Indian team.” The West Indies went on to win the series 3-0.
Meanwhile, Simmons added that the players are comfortable in the bio-secure environment and looking ahead to defend the Wisden trophy. "We are comfortable, the lockdown is better than what we had in March/April in our different countries. The players can go out there and train and they look forward to putting in the work.
"We have the best team that we can have at the moment. Some guys decided against making the tour but we have to work with the guys we have here and prepare them as best as we can to fill the shoes of those who are not here. If they do that then they can go on to great things."
Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, and Keemo Paul have all decided against the touring due to the Coronavirus. The West Indies have taken a squad that includes 25 players for this tour. They have chosen 14 as the Test squad and another 11 as reserves. However, Simmons said that there could be a crossover. "Let's put the situation with the squad into perspective. If we look at Shannon Gabriel, he is coming off an injury and once he performs well in training leading up to the Tests then he can come into the squad."
The first Test begins on July 8 in Southampton.