Former West Indies coach Phil Simmons has been appointed as the new head coach of St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots for the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Simmons' appointment comes after they acquired opener Chris Gayle from Jamaica Tallawahs last week in a bid to turn around their results.
Patriots' co-owner, Uday Nayak, described Simmons as "the right coaching choice at this very crucial time in the development of our franchise," following two consecutive seasons of finishing at the bottom of the table.
Commenting on his new role, Simmons said, "I am delighted to take up the role. I would like to thank the owners and management for offering me this exciting opportunity to lead the squad. I am aware of the immediate challenges we are facing and I will do all possible to ensure that we achieve improved results."
"I am very pleased with the recent signing of Gayle. This is a major boost for me coming in as the new coach and I look forward to working closely with Chris to bring the desired success to the St. Kitts & Nevis franchise."
Gayle had captained Tallawahs for four seasons, between 2013 and 2016, leading the team to the title in the inaugural edition and again in 2016. Overall, he played 43 matches for Tallawahs across four seasons, scoring 1452 runs at an average of 42.70 with three centuries and eight fifties.
Speaking of his move, Gayle said, "I am a proud Jamaican and I loved representing the Tallawahs. I would like to thank the owners and management who have been brilliant to work with, my team-mates who always gave me 100% support, and of course the Jamaican fans who made Sabina Park such a special home ground for me."