Collective true professional approach required for Windies turnaround - Phil Simmons

By October 29, 2019

A truly professional approach from all stakeholders will be required to make the West Indies a force in world cricket once more, says newly head coach Phil Simmons.

Cricket West Indies appointed Simmons head coach of the West Indies senior men’s team in October. The Trinidadian, who was fired in 2016 after leading the West Indies to their second T20 World Cup, replaced interim coach Floyd Reifer, who was appointed in April.

Simmons knows he has a task on his hands but he believes he knows what will be required if the regional side is to experience a reversal of fortune.

“One of the things that we have got to understand as a people in the Caribbean is that getting paid to do something doesn’t mean you’re a professional. This extends all the way down. Everybody has to understand what it means to be professional and we all have to be professionals. One of the major things it means is that we have to get ourselves into a position to perform consistently, not once in a while,” said Simmons during a recent interview on the Sportsnation Live show on Nationwide Radio in Kingston.

He said there could not be a blanket approach to addressing all the problems ailing the West Indies because not all the players representing the West Indies share the same problems.

“The mental side of it, the hunger side of it, the fitness side of it; there are different things for different players you might have to get them to improve on,” he said.

“It’s not a blanket thing that everybody has to get fitter. It’s not a blanket thing that mentally everybody has to get stronger. It’s a challenge for everyone, but everyone might have different things that they are challenged where they’re at now.

“It’s about finding out where each player is at and finding out what exactly you have to do with that player to get them to perform consistently.”

After he was fired by the West Indies Board in 2016, Simmons was appointed batting coach of Afghanistan and was eventually appointed head coach in 2017, leading them to victory in the ICC World Cup qualifiers in March 2018.

His Afghanistan team defeated the West Indies twice along the way.

He said he learned valuable lessons along the way back to the West Indies, lessons that he believes makes him better suited to take the Caribbean team forward.

“What was learnt is that you have to deal a lot more individually with a lot of players. I think we started it and people started understanding what I wanted from them when that time came (when he was fired) in the last contract,” he said.

“Given more time and given more chances to work with the players and getting them to understand what the vision is for this team, and when we want the team to go in all three formats, I think with us challenging them to get to where we think we should be, I think we will get there.

“It’s a case of if the players want to get there, if everybody wants to get there, we will find a way to get there.”



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Duckworth-Lewis-Stern co-developer Tony Lewis dies aged 78 Duckworth-Lewis-Stern co-developer Tony Lewis dies aged 78

    Tony Lewis, who co-developed the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system utilised in cricket, has died, the ICC confirmed on Thursday.

    Lewis passed away at the age of 78. He developed the original Duckworth-Lewis method alongside fellow statistician Frank Duckworth.

    The ICC has used the formula – which calculates the target score for a team batting second in an interrupted limited-overs match – since 1999.

    After the retirements of Lewis and Duckworth, Steven Stern became the custodian of the method and his name was added in 2014.

    "Tony's contribution to cricket is huge. The present day system of resetting targets in international cricket is based on the one developed by him and Frank more than two decades ago," said ICC general manager Geoff Allardice.

    "His contribution to the game of cricket will be remembered for years to come and we send our condolences to his family and friends."

  • On this day in sport: Mets boss dies, Red Rum hat-trick, MLS strike over, India glory On this day in sport: Mets boss dies, Red Rum hat-trick, MLS strike over, India glory

    Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

    It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

    History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

    Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

    1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

    Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

    1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

    Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

    1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

    From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

    2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

    India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

    In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

  • Windies tour of England not called off just yet Windies tour of England not called off just yet

    Isolation units and Coronavirus checkpoints at cricket grounds could see the West Indies still making the trip to that country for closed-door games.

    The West Indies were scheduled to start a three-Test duel with England at T/he Oval, Edgbaston, and Lord’s on June 4 until the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Europe threatened to derail those plans.

    The ECB and Cricket West Indies have been trying to come up with solutions to keep what is expected to be a lucrative series alive.

    According to reports, the ECB is stepping up plans to resume cricket in June, but with no spectators, but that broadcasting would still go ahead since that was safer and that is where the majority of money to be earned from the series would be in any case.

    The approach, ECB Director of Special Projects, Steve Elworthy, explained that any approach involving re-starting cricket in England would mean creating a sterile environment, safe for players and staff.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.