“I give everything I can give” – West Indies coach Phil Simmons hopes to finish tenure on a high

Two-time World T20 champions the Caribbean failed to progress beyond the qualifying stages of the concluded World Twenty20 World Cup. Phil Simmons then decided to step down as the team’s head coach.

Simmons, the head coach of the West Indies senior men’s team, has announced that he will resign from his position after the two-match Test series against Australia.

Accordingly, Phil Simmons enters his final assignment as West Indies coach. He is believed to have given his best in his role and hopes that the foundations will be laid for the revival of their Test cricket.

The visitors’ 164-run defeat in Perth was their first defeat in six games this year, but Simmons’ second spell as coach, which began in October 2019, has had other notable wins. 2-0 away wins over Jamaica and Bangladesh, where they chased down 395 to win the opening Test and won the second match by 17 runs.

Simmons said ahead of the Adelaide Test,

“[I feel] good, from the point of view that every time I come out and every time I’m part of West Indies, I give everything I can give. Simmons said ahead of the Adelaide Test. I will give all for the next six days and let’s hope we can come out with a win, so I finish on a high.”

“We’ve lost one Test in a year, and it’s shown in the way we’ve played – especially the series against England where we had to fight for a few games then come out on top in the last – that some progress has been made.”

“For me, the joy is seeing people improve. You’ve had Jermaine [Blackwood], who is going into his 50th Test [in Adelaide] and he was out for a while, now we see the difference in him. It’s little things like that that bring joy to me.”

When he left the West Indies national team again, it was hoped that the game in the Caribbean could make the necessary changes to give players the best chance to succeed.

“My big hope for West Indies cricket is we get things in order at home, we put things in place so that every team can start improving and moving up the ladder.”

“Think the Test team has shown the way so far. In the last few years, we haven’t had good success in white-ball [cricket] but the talent is always there. What we do on the ground to harness that talent is what will get us back to where we are supposed to be.”

“The captain [Kraigg Brathwaite] keeps setting the standard, and with Tage [Tagenarine] next to him, now think that example will be set so everyone else can follow it. It augurs well for our batting line-up, [there’s] a lot more grit and determination. [In] the last few years, the bowling has done their work, now the batting is coming. Sooner or later it will all come together.”

Simmons saw the potential for Test cricket to become a high-profile game, and noted England’s extraordinary approach in Rawalpindi this week, but stressed the importance of each side playing their style.

“In the next few years, the game will just keep going faster and faster. We saw a Test in Pakistan and it’s just unbelievable; the game will keep getting like that. ODI cricket brought speed to Test cricket, and now T20 is bringing speed to both forms.”

“We’ll see how fast it gets in the next few years. But the way you play depends on the tools you have. If we don’t have all the big shot-makers that England have right now, then we play in our way.”

He will continue as a coach and will be the head coach of the Dubai Capitals at the inaugural ILT20 next month. However, on the prospect of returning to the West Indies, he said,

“Think you can rule out that third stint. That’s enough for me. I’d like a lot more time at home.”

Leave a Comment