Source - New Zimbabwe
West Indies cricket coach Phil Simmons is demanding US$320,000 in damages from Zimbabwe for unlawful dismissal 10 years after he was sacked by the African side.A tribunal ruling is expected “anytime soon”, according to his lawyer.Simmons first dragged Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to court in 2009 seeking compensation after he was dismissed in 2005 with two years still remaining on his contract.
NewZimbabwe.com has established that the case is now awaiting arbitration after the Labour Court in Harare struck it off the roll.Simmons, who had initially arrived in the country to head the national academy, was appointed head coach by Zimbabwe in 2004 but fell out with the board in August 2005 and was replaced by the late former Zimbabwe player Kevin Curran.
ZC initially announced it would reassign Simmons to a new role within Zimbabwean cricket. As a result, Simmons stayed on in the country up to 2006.
Although poor results were given by ZC as reason for the changes, a power struggle within Zimbabwean cricket in which Simmons and his players publicly sided with a dissenting group attempting to oust the then Peter Chingoka-led board, was widely seen as his undoing.In addition to $50,000 in unpaid salaries, Simmons is also demanding $195 000 as damages for the remainder of his contract – which was initially scheduled to expire in August 2007 at a rate of “$15 00 per month plus interest from August 2007 to date of full and final payment,” according to court papers in our possession.
The coach also wants an extra $75,000 as six months’ notice stipulated in his contract with ZC.
In the court papers, ZC admit owing Simmons $50,000 in outstanding salaries and has twice, in 2007 and 2009, offered an out-of-court settlement and full payment of $60,000 which was turned down.
Under his contract, Simmons was to earn $10,000 in his first year, $12,500 in the second year and $15,000 in the third.