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Thursday, November 30 2023

Phil Simmons to step down as WIndies head coach after T20 drub

Phil Simmons to step down as WIndies head coach after T20 drub
Photo Credit : IANS

Melbourne: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons will step down from his post in the wake of his side’s debacle in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. The two-time T20 world champions were eliminated in the preliminary stage following losses to Scotland and Ireland, with the only saving grace being a 31-run win against Zimbabwe.

West Indies finished fourth and last in Group B and failed to progress to the Super 12 stage here.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed Simmons will be stepping down from his role as head coach of the national men’s side following the team’s exit from the global event.

The 59-year-old former West Indies allrounder’s last assignment will be the two-Test series against Australia from November 30 to December 12.

“I acknowledge that it’s not just the team that is hurting but the proud nations we represent as well. It’s disappointing and heart wrenching but we just didn’t turn up. We weren’t good enough and we now have to watch a tournament play-out without our involvement. It’s unfathomable and for that I deeply apologise to our fans and followers,” said Simmons on Tuesday.

“From a personal perspective this is not a knee-jerk reaction, but a move I have been considering for some time and now is the time to make public that I will step down as West Indies head coach at the end of the Test series against Australia. It is earlier than hoped for, but I will now focus my energies in Australia on continuing to build on the excellent progress the Test team has made. Of course, as the (CWI) president has pointed out, we will also carry out the necessary review into our World Cup campaign.”

Simmons said at no point he felt let down by the team management, which supported him through thick and thin.

“I must say I have enjoyed aspects of the unique challenge that being West Indies Head Coach provides and the unwavering support of my Management Team. There remain some exceptional individuals within CWI who I firmly believe will continue to work in the best interests of West Indies cricket.”

CWI president Ricky Skerritt thanked Simmons for his service, saying, “On behalf of CWI I want to thank Phil for his hard work and dedication to West Indies cricket, most recently in his role as Head Coach. Phil is a proud West Indian, with high ideals and has never lacked motivation in guiding our younger players on and off the field of play. He brought valuable experience and stability at a very important period of transformation, including the most challenging environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Simmons was at the helm in 2016 when West Indies won their second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title defeating England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Earlier this year, he guided the team’s fortunes in their hard-fought 1-0 Test series win over England on home soil to capture the Richards-Botham Trophy and in June a Test series victory against Bangladesh in their last outing.

Simmons had been in charge of the West Indies over two separate stints since 2015.

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