PORT OF SPAIN (AFP) – Lendl Simmons has been summoned to replace suspended captain Dwayne Bravo in the West Indies squad to face Sri Lanka in the fifth match of the Tri-Nation Series at Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.
Bravo's one-match suspension was handed down by International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe after the hosts fell behind the required over-rate during their 102-run loss to India on Friday.
It was the second such offence by the West Indies under Bravo's stewardship in less than a month following similar tardiness in the Champions Trophy match against South Africa in Cardiff on June 14.
Simmons's call-up suggests that he will be a straight replacement for Bravo in the final eleven to face the Sri Lankans, meaning that squad member Devon Smith will again be left out from a side to be led by hard-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard. It was Pollard who led the West Indies to a thrilling one-wicket victory over India a week ago in Kingston when Bravo was sidelined by a groin strain.
Almost seven years after he made his One-Day International debut, the 28-year-old Simmons has another opportunity to claim a regular place in the West Indies side. The utility batsman, who also bowls a bit of medium-pace and can deputise as a wicketkeeper, averaged 30.31 with the bat in 42 previous ODI's, his lone century coming against Bangladesh in 2011.
West Indies lead the tri-nation series despite the heavy defeat to India, although a similar reversal against the Sri Lankans followed by an Indian victory over Angelo Mathews' team in the last preliminary match could see the Caribbean team squeezed out of the July 11 final.