Phil Simmons steps down as West Indies' head coach, calls team's T20 World Cup exit 'unfathomable'

West Indies ended last in their Group B points table after losing two out of three games in first round.

Phil Simmons
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Phil Simmons. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Vaishnavi Iyer
VAISHNAVI IYER

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After West Indies’ disappointing exit from ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, head coach Phil Simmons has decided to step down from his role and call it quits. West Indies was one of the eight teams that were a part of the first-round games of the tournament. In order to make way into the Super 12, a team had to finish at either the first or second position of their group’s points table, and West Indies failed to do that.

West Indies was placed alongside Scotland, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. The Caribbean side faced an upset in the first fixture against Scotland but bounced back to win the contest against Zimbabwe. In their final fixture against Ireland, which was a must-win game for them, they were handed another defeat which landed them in the bottom-most position of the points table, and as a result, they crashed out of the tournament.

“I acknowledge that it's not just the team that is hurting but the proud nations we represent as well. It's disappointing and heart-wrenching but we just didn't turn up. We weren't good enough and we now have to watch a tournament play out without our involvement. It's unfathomable and for that, I deeply apologize to our fans and followers,” said Simmons in his statement.

“From a personal perspective this is not a knee-jerk reaction, but a move I have been considering for some time, and now is the time to make public that I will step down as West Indies Head Coach at the end of the Test series against Australia. It is earlier than hoped for, but I will now focus my energies in Australia on continuing to build on the excellent progress the Test team has made. Of course, as the President has pointed out, we will also carry out the necessary review into our World Cup campaign,” he added.

After West Indies’ exit, Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt had revealed that there would be a thorough post-mortem of the team’s deeply disappointing exit. It came as a shock to many when the team failed to qualify for the Super 12, given that they have been two-time T20 World Cup champions, the only team to have won the coveted cup twice.

“I must say I have enjoyed aspects of the unique challenge that being West Indies Head Coach provides and the unwavering support of my Management Team. There remain some exceptional individuals within CWI who I firmly believe will continue to work in the best interests of West Indies cricket,” Simmons concluded.

He brought valuable experience and stability: Ricky Skerritt

Simmons will end his stint as the head coach after West Indies’ Test schedule against Australia. Under Simmons, the Test side has done well this year and has bagged wins over England and Bangladesh. But their performance in white-ball cricket has not been very promising. They have experienced early elimination from the last two World Cups, having lost two out of three games in Australia last week and four out of five in 2021.

“On behalf of CWI, I want to thank Phil for his hard work and dedication to West Indies cricket, most recently in his role as Head Coach. Phil is a proud West Indian, with high ideals and has never lacked motivation in guiding our younger players on and off the field of play. He brought valuable experience and stability at a very important period of transformation, including the most challenging environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said CWI president Ricky Skerritt.