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St George’s set to name new captain

Role relinquished: Macai Simmons (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Macai Simmons’s successor as the captain of St George’s Cup Match team will be confirmed next week.

Neil Paynter, the St George’s Cricket Club president, said: “A decision will be made next week in reference to our skipper.

“I don’t know when it’s going to come out. But the selection committee are in the process of vetting individuals for the position.”

The challengers were forced to seek a new captain after Simmons made a surprise late transfer to neighbours St David’s 48 hours before the start of the season.

The all-rounder, who has captained the St George’s Cup Match team for the past two years, decided to sever ties with his boyhood club as he did not feel he had the backing of coach Wendell Smith for the captaincy.

Simmons trained with St George’s the day before deciding to move to St David’s.

“There was a lack of communication between the coach and I,” Simmons said. “He didn’t reach out to me and I didn’t reach out to him, so I just left because I felt it was my best option.

“I felt he was trying to pick a new Cup Match captain without talking to me to see where my head was. I love St George’s, but feel it’s unfortunate that I had to leave.”

Smith refused to pour fuel on the fire when probed on the matter.

“I was extremely pleased with his commitment, work ethic and progress during preseason,” the former St George’s opening batsman and captain said.

Despite his decision to leave under somewhat controversial circumstances, Simmons insists he has no hard feelings towards St George’s.

“There are definitely no hard feelings,” he said. “I’ll come home in the future because that is where I’m from. I coach the under-11 team, so I’m in the club all year round. I always want to see St George’s win.”

St George’s, who suffered a crushing innings and 34-run defeat in Somerset last year, will host this year’s two-day classic at Wellington Oval on August 1 and 2.