West Indies coach Phil Simmons has been sacked, ESPNcricinfo understands. Simmons, who moved into the role after last year’s World Cup following a spell with Ireland, was informed about the termination of his contract on Tuesday shortly before the T20 squad was due to fly to the UAE and just six months after West Indies won the World T20.
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 briefly before allowing him back to his role once both parties resolved to sort out matters amicably.
It was in September last year that the issue of selection reared its head again when Simmons 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 in a statement, 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 Test series against India finished in a 2-0 defeat but confirmation of Simmons’ departure came the day West Indies’ T20 players were scheduled to leave for the UAE where they will play three T20Is and three ODIs starting September 23.
Under Simmons, West Indies played 14 Tests which brought only one victory although that was enough to secure a shared 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 Summons has been coach were by an innings, two more by nine wickets and two by more than 150 runs.
It has been suggested that former West Indies captain and current Kent coach Jimmy Adams is the replacement the WICB wants, but sources close to Adams told ESPNcricinfo he is not interested, while unconfirmed reports are that current director of cricket Richard Pybus could take over as interim coach of the team for the matches against Pakistan. (ESPNcricinfo)
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo