Cricket West Indies (CWI) announces today that Phil Simmons will be stepping down from his role as Head Coach of the West Indies Men’s team after the team’s shocking exit from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup being played in Australia. His last assignment will be the upcoming two-Test series against Australia in December.
Two time T20 champions West Indies suffered embarrassing defeats against Scotland and Ireland in Hobart and finished at bottom of their group. They did win against Zimbabwe but that could not help them qualifying to the next round and were eliminated early.
In a statement released by CWI, Phil Simmons says,“ 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.”
“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 President has pointed out, we will also carry out the necessary review into our World Cup campaign,” Simmons further said.
“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,” Simmons concluded.
Simmons was in the charge in 2016 when West Indies won their second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title defeating England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. And then he was appointed again as head Coach in October 2019. In his second stint, he guided the team’s fortunes in their hard fought 1-0 Test series win over the top team England on home soil to win the Richards-Botham Trophy and in June a Test series victory against Bangladesh in their last outing.
CWI President Ricky Skerritt thanked Simmons for his service. Skerritt said, “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,” Skerritt said. “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 endeavors.”
West Indies is scheduled to play two match series against Australia starting from November 30 in Perth. The second and final test match will be played in Adelaide from 8 December.