Simmons leaves Ireland to coach WI
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (AP):
Former Test all-rounder Phil Simmons left the Ireland job to coach the West Indies yesterday.
He received a three-year contract from the West Indies Cricket Board, and his first task will be a three-Test home series against England next month.
Simmons, who played 26 Tests and 143 one-day internationals for West Indies from 1987 to 1999, takes over a Test side that has won only one series against a higher-ranked team in six years, and one ODI series against a higher-ranked team in seven years.
He spent the last eight years making Ireland the best Associate side and leading the team to two Cricket World Cups and four World Twenty20s.
He oversaw Ireland beating the West Indies a month ago in the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but missed out on the quarter-finals with a 3-3 pool record.
"Phil has a proven ability to develop players, while cultivating great team spirit and a winning culture," WICB chief executive officer Michael Muirhead said in a statement.
"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."
The 51-year-old Simmons said: "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."