Simmons sacked as West Indies coach
West Indies coach Phil Simmons has been sacked due to "differences in culture and strategic approach", the WICB has confirmed
West Indies coach Phil Simmons has been sacked due to "differences in culture and strategic approach", the WICB has confirmed.
Simmons, who moved into the role after the 2015 World Cup following a spell with Ireland, was informed about the termination of his contract on Tuesday by WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead shortly before the West Indies T20 squad was due to fly to the UAE to play Pakistan. The sacking came just six months after West Indies had won the World T20 in India.
For the Pakistan series, the WICB said the team would be under the supervision of former West Indies fast bowler Joel Garner, who is the team manager. He will work alongside the pair of assistant coaches Henderson Springer and Roddy Estwick.
Despite the sudden nature of the announcement, the WICB said the decision to drop Simmons was taken at the board of directors meeting last weekend. The board confirmed the news of Simmons' departure shortly after it was revealed by ESPNcricinfo.
As for the reason behind the sacking, the WICB statement did not go into specifics. "In recent times, based on the public pronouncements of the coach and the approach internally, we have identified differences in culture and strategic approach. The WICB would therefore like to thank the coach for his contribution and wishes him the best in his future endeavours."
The lack of common ground between the parties had been clear for some time. Simmons' journey as West Indies coach was never smooth once he made his thoughts public soon after not being allowed to pick what he felt was the best squad for the ODI series in Sri Lanka last year. Consequently the WICB suspended him before allowing him back to his role once both parties resolved to sort out matters amicably.
In September last year, when the issue of selection reared its head again, Simmons had said: "The disappointing fact is that you can lose 3-2 in a vote-off but there is too much interference from outside in the selection of the ODI squad and it's disappointing for me to know that in any aspect of life … [people would use] their position to get people into a squad; or in this case, get people left out of a squad. It is wrong and I don't like it and that is my beef with the selection of the ODI team."
His reinstatement, the WICB said, was "conditioned upon" two criteria: "issuance to him of a letter of reprimand for his inappropriate public comments", and his "making a public apology to the WICB and persons whom he may have offended."
The recent home Test series against India finished in a 2-0 defeat and under Simmons, West Indies won only one of 14 Tests, though that win was enough to draw a series against England last year. They showed glimpses of promise against India but ultimately fell to two heavy defeats - three of the nine losses while Simmons was coach were by an innings, two more by nine wickets, and two by more than 150 runs.
Should the WICB have sacked Simmons?3 votes
It was suggested that former West Indies captain and current Kent coach Jimmy Adams was the replacement the WICB wanted, but sources close to Adams told ESPNcricinfo he was not interested.
In less than six months since West Indies won their second World T20 title, the WICB has parted ways with three influential members of the team management, with Simmons following the pair of former captain Darren Sammy and bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose.
Immediately after the World T20, the WICB relieved Ambrose from his role, which caught him by surprise. Then ahead of the two T20Is against India in Florida, the new selection panel led by Courtney Browne decided to remove Sammy as captain and replace him with Carlos Brathwaite.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo