Former T&T and West Indies all rounder Phil Simmons is the new coach of the West Indies cricket team.
Simmons was given the nod over T&T-born former Indian national Robin Singh for the top post and will be signing a contract with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) today. He will take up the position for three years in the first instance. Simmons has been knocking on the door for a while and has been making the best advertisement with his work in Ireland with their national team.
At the current World Cup, he led Ireland to an upset victory over the West Indies in their opening game. Ireland failed to get into the quarter-finals, however, after going down to Pakistan in their final match of the preliminary round.
With the World Cup out the way, Simmons was then given time to deal with his contract and will sign today.
He will get moving immediately as he has England on his doorsteps in a few weeks time.
The Arima man is expected to be a good fit on the management team, as he has the respect of the players. His nephew Lendl will also be under his wings, although Lendl announced his retirement from Test cricket recently.
Simmons played 26 Tests for the West Indies, scoring 1002 runs at an average of 22.26. He also appeared in 143 ODIs, scoring 3675 runs at 28.93 with a best of 122. He also captured 83 wickets in ODI cricket at 34.65, with a best of four wickets for three runs off 10 overs against Pakistan–which remains the most economical bowling in ODI cricket.
The West Indies has been without a head coach since Ottis Gibson was removed at the end of the series against New Zealand in the Caribbean last year. The West Indies lost that series 2-1, and Gibson was fired after the West Indies also lost the test series.
Since then, the team has been handled by assistant coaches Stuart Williams, Andre Coley and fast bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose. Manager of the team Richie Richardson has also lent his considerable experience in the batting department.
The West Indies will play hosts New Zealand in the quarter-finals on Friday night (TT time).