ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC- Phil Simmons’ rocky tenure as head coach of the West Indies cricket team came to a premature end yesterday afternoon after West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that they it had terminated his contract.
A brief statement released by the WICB yesterday afternoon confirmed the sacking and ended days of speculation in the regional media which preceded last weekend’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting in Dominica.
The statement said Simmons’s sacking takes immediate effect and that the decision was taken by the WICB on Saturday.
“Effectively immediately, the WICB today announced it has separated from the Head Coach Phil Simmons,” the statement said. “In a meeting of the Board of Directors, on Saturday, September 10, this decision was taken”.
WICB president Dave Cameron consistently dodged reporters’ questions about the impending dismissal in the days leading up to the Board meeting in Roseau.
Simmons was appointed head coach 18 months ago, after last year’s World Cup, following a spell with Ireland.
However, the former West Indies all-rounder has had a troubled relationship with his employers, emphasised by his suspension six months later for his controversial comments about team selection.
“In recent times, based on the public pronouncements of the coach and the approach internally, we have identified differences in culture and strategic approach,” said the WICB statement, released 4.30PM Eastern Caribbean time.
“The WICB would therefore like to thank the coach for his contribution and wishes him the best in his future endeavours”.
No replacement has been named for Simmons as the team gets ready to leave in a matter of days for its next international assignment against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The WICB said that the team, which will play T20 Internationals, One Day Internationals and Test matches, starting September 23rd, against Pakistan, will be headed by the Barbadian trio of Manager Joel Garner, and coaches Henderson Springer and Roddy Estwick.
Estwick was previously appointed as the bowling coach in the previous series, but Springer is now a new addition to the set up.
Some reports had said that the WICB was interested in hiring Jimmy Adams, the former test middle order batsman now coaching English county Kent. But he is reported to be not interested.
Another report said that current director of cricket Richard Pybus may take up the role in the short term.