Port-of-Spain, October 14 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Following the return of Phil Simmons as head coach of the West Indies team, Cricket West Indies (CWI) will hold a press conference on Tuesday, October 15, at the Queen’s Park Oval here from 11 a.m. to noon.
And as part of CWI’s continued commitment, under president Ricky Skerritt, to increased accountability and transparency, the press conference will be live-streamed via www.windiescricket.com.
Simmons, a former Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies opening batsman, was controversially sacked after West Indies won the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup when Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron was the president.
The appointment of the 56-year-old Simmons was confirmed for a four-year spell by the CWI board of directors today.
CWI also announced three new selection panels, for the men's, women's and girls', and the boys' teams.
Simmons had sued the board at the time, for unfair dismissal and earlier this year accepted an apology and an undisclosed amount that brought the case to an end. He last served as the coach of Afghanistan until the recent World Cup, and on Sunday won the 2019 CPL coaching the Barbados Tridents. Before that, Simmons coached Ireland between 2007 and 2015, helping them qualify for three straight World Cups.
"Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time," Skerritt said. "I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach."
Reifer was one of three men shortlisted two weeks ago for the role alongside Simmons and Reifer’s fellow Barbadian, Desmond Haynes.
West Indies had been without a full-time coach since the CWI management led by Skerritt ended Richard Pybus' stint in April this year - just weeks before the World Cup - following a review of the team's coaching and selection policies. Reifer had been at the helm since.
CWI's director of cricket Jimmy Adams, who was also one of the members on the interview panel, said: "I am happy, after a very robust recruitment process at the appointment of Phil to the role of Head Coach. I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role."
That the position would go to a West Indian was made clear by the board before the selection process even began. They had said in September that "persons without West Indian heritage need not apply" for the role.
A CWI panel interviewed six candidates which were later shortlisted to three.
The new selection panel for the men's team includes former Guyana and West Indies off-spinning all-rounder Roger Harper (lead selector) and Miles Bascombe, a 33-year-old Vincentian, who played one T20 International for West Indies; the women's and girl's panel includes Ann Browne-John (lead selector) and Travis Dowlin, and the boys' panel comprises Robert Haynes.
Dowlin, a Guyanese and former West Indies selector, played in Tests, ODIs and T20s, while Jamaican Haynes only turned out in ODIs.
The selection panels will get to work immediately with the men's team scheduled to play Afghanistan in India in November and the women's team set to host India for three ODIs and five T20Is starting November 1. The Under-19 team will host a tri-series with Sri Lanka and England in December in the lead up to the Under-19 World Cup in January in South Africa.
CWI vice-president Kishore Shallow said: “We have been delighted at the interest and quality of candidates who participated in the recruitment process to fill the roles for the Selection Panels. These roles are vital to execute the new selection policy to select squads for the West Indies teams at every level. We wish the selectors every success as they commence work immediately.”