West Indies coach Phil Simmons has apologised to the team’s fans in the wake of their “heart-wrenching” exit from the T20 World Cup, announcing he will step down from the role following this year’s Test tour of Australia.
The West Indies shockingly missed out on the Super 12 stage of the World Cup after they finished last in Group B having been humbled by Ireland and Scotland.
It’s a massive fall from grace for the two-time champions who won the 2016 tournament with Simmons at the helm.
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Simmons said he’d been thinking about this decision for a while and will be hoping for one last bit of success when the Test side takes on Australia in Perth and Adelaide later this year.
“I acknowledge that it’s not just the team that is hurting but the proud nations we represent as well,” he said.
“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 apologise to our fans and followers.
“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.”
Simmons played 26 Tests for the West Indies and helped them to a famous 1-0 series win over England on home soil earlier this year.
“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,” Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt said.
“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 endeavours.”