Simmons is Windies head coach again

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 Phil Simmons is back as head coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

The announcement of the four-year appointment, as well as that of three new selection panels, came after a meeting of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Board of Directors today in Antigua and Barbuda. 

Simmons had a short stint as head coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team, during which they won the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup title, following which he was controversially dismissed.

He also served as head coach of Afghanistan, helping them qualify for the 2019 ICC One-Day International Cricket World Cup for the first time.

During his tenure as head coach of Ireland, they improved their ICC rankings and qualified for all major ICC events. Simmons’ latest coaching success came just two days ago when he coached the Barbados Tridents to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League title with an impressive victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s Final.

It was a short but intensive recruitment process, prior to which the Board made it clear in September that “persons without West Indian heritage need not apply”.

“Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time,” said president Ricky Skerritt. “I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach.”

Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said he was happy with the appointment.

“I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role,” he added.

Thirty-four people applied for the job before it was narrowed to six and three.

Meanwhile, Roger Harper will be lead selector for the men’s team, joined by Miles Bascombe. Ann Browne-John is lead selector for the women’s team, assisted by Travis Dowlin, and Robert Haynes will be talent identification manager for the boys’ selection panel. The head coach of each team will complete the panels.

The recommendation of a new CWI selection structure and policy were the main outputs of the report of the Selection System Review Task Force, presented by vice president Kishore Shallow at the September Board meeting in Tobago. Eighteen candidates were considered and evaluated for the five positions across the three Selection Panels.

They will get to work immediately with the West Indies Men’s team preparing to play Afghanistan, in India, in November in three T20s, three ODIs and one Test match and will also play India in three T20s and three ODIs before Christmas

 The West Indies Women will host India Women for three ODIs and five T20Is starting on November 1 and the West Indies Under-19 team will host a triangular series with Sri Lanka and England Under-19s in December as they prepare for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa in January.

The men’s squads will be announced at a press conference at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on November 16. (PR/SAT)

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