No place like home: Simmons anticipates return to T&T as part of Papua New Guinea's staff for T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk May 21, 2024
SIMMONS...I’m looking forward to getting home, which is Trinidad. SIMMONS...I’m looking forward to getting home, which is Trinidad.

Former West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says he is looking forward to being back in his homeland of Trinidad and Tobago while assisting Papua New Guinea through their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign in which they will rub shoulders with West Indies.

Simmons, 61, joins Oceania side as a specialist coach, and he will provide Papua New Guinea's head coach Tatenda Taibu with some added experience and knowledge of playing in Caribbean conditions during the June 1-29 showpiece, which will also see games being played in United States.

“My role here is as a consultant coach and how I put across my experience, not just playing in World Cups, but playing in the Caribbean and the things that we should be looking at to make sure we do it right in the Caribbean and especially the venues that we play at,” Simmons shared.

Having built a strong reputation working with international sides such as Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Afghanistan, Simmons, who has played the sport for 14 years and coached for a further 18 years, was pressed for time to spend in the Caribbean and, as such, welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in the twin island republic.

“It’s been a long time in the game. It’s always brilliant to come home, always brilliant to come back to any part of the West Indies you know how beautiful it is here. I’m looking forward to getting home, which is Trinidad. Having people come here, me getting back here, it’s always a great thing, it’s always something to look forward to," he declared.

Simmons, who recently joined the Papua New Guinea squad in their pre-World Cup training camp in St Kitts, expressed pleasure with what he has seen so far.

“Their energy is unbelievable. Their warm-ups alone, got me tired. The guys look like they have settled in really well. In training, we started to get out in the middle of their game, so they started on some of the things they have to do here in the Caribbean, and it’s nice to see the energy that’s among this squad," Simmons said.

“I’ve known the head coach [Taibu] for a long time, and he’s always been energetic. There is always a lot of energy, but the players seem to be pushing him where that is concerned, and so I like that atmosphere in the team, I like the liveliness in the team," he added.

Papua New Guinea will contest Group C alongside West Indies, Afghanistan, New Zealand, and Uganada. They will open against the Caribbean side on June 2, at the National Cricket Stadium in Guyana.

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