Simmons named West Indies cricket’s new coach

| March 29, 2015
Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

With the Cricket World Cup being over, West Indies Cricket Board is ready to make a fresh beginning.

It will be a homecoming for former international Phil Simmons who was named the new head coach of the West Indies days after the team made an exit from World Cup.

The 51-year-old signed a three-year deal with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

Simmons coached Ireland at the World Cup and during his eight-year spell took the non-Test playing nation to three World Cups and four World Twenty20 appearances.

“West Indies have a tremendous history and prestige in the game, and I am honoured to have been given this opportunity to be head coach,” said Simmons whose Ireland side defeated the West Indies in the World Cup pool stage.

Simmons, who spent the last eight years in charge of Ireland, was selected from among seven candidates and has been handed a three-year contract.

The Trinidadian played 26 Tests and 143 One-Day Internationals for West Indies between 1987 and 1999.

His first assignment will be leading the West Indies into a home series against England next month.

West Indies play England in a three-match Test series from April 6 to May 5 and Australia in a two Test series in June.

Phil Simmons. Photo courtesy www.mid-day.com

Phil Simmons. Photo courtesy www.mid-day.com

The West Indies, who eventually pipped Ireland for a quarterfinal place at the World Cup on run-rate, are being coached at the tournament by Stuart Williams and Andre Coley with ex-captain Richie Richardson as manager.

“There is an abundance of young talent coming through the ranks and to be able to assist with the development of the future playing talent in the West Indies is fantastic. I can’t wait to begin and I am looking forward to starting work with the players.

“I am excited to be beginning this new chapter in my coaching career and to have the opportunity to create a winning culture,” the new coach said.

WICB too was happy to get him on board

Michael Muirhead. www.espncricinfo.com

Michael Muirhead. www.espncricinfo.com

“We are thrilled with the appointment of Phil and we believe he is the right individual for our team and our region at this time, so we want to welcome him back home,” said WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead.

“Phil has a proven ability to develop players, while cultivating great team spirit and a winning culture. We have a number of young, talented players about whom he is excited to be coaching and we believe he is the right fit.”

Muirhead added: “Phil has impressed us with his understanding of the current realities of West Indies cricket and his ability to articulate practical examples and strategies of things that could be implemented within the team to improve performance.

“His independence of character and his resolve to stand up for what he believes in were also strong qualities that convinced us that Phil was best suited to usher the West Indies team into a new era of success.”

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