Former Windies coach Simmons in the wars as Afghanistan struggles

By June 21, 2019
Phil Simmons speaking to Afghanistan players Phil Simmons speaking to Afghanistan players

Former Windies all-rounder Phil Simmons has had his ups and downs as a coach, with his latest struggles coming at the ICC World Cup in England. 

Afghanistan, his latest charges, have played five matches and lost all of them but Simmons is not taking the losses lying down, he is pointing fingers.

Simmons has seemingly fallen out with former fast bowler, Dawlat Ahmadzai.

Amadzai had been demoted from chairman of selectors to the junior selection panel midway through the World Cup.

On Wednesday, Simmons had much to say iva social media tool, Twitter, saying he would respond to statements made by Ahmadzai. Apparently, the former chief selector had blamed selection policy as well as team strategies for the team’s less-than-desirable results.

Simmons is apparently saying the former fast bowler has a part to play in those policies going awry, saying that after the World Cup, he would reveal how Ahmadzai influenced the decisions to replace Ashgar Afghan as captain with Gulbadin Naib.

According to a report on ESPNCricinfo, Simmons was never told about the impending change in captaincy and that has rubbed the former Windies all-rounder the wrong way.

"I am in the middle of a World Cup and trying to get our team to perform to the level we expect but at the end of the World Cup I will tell the Afghanistan people about the part that Mr Dawlat Ahmadzai had to play in our preparation and his part in the dismissal of #AsgharAfghan."

Simmons was responding to Asmadzai’s statements where he said "Our preparation was not good," Ahmadzai said. "We always went with one fast bowler, all burden was on the shoulders of Rashid [Khan]. But now, Rashid has no such conditions [in the UK]. If we bowl well we can win a game, but if you think we are able to win a tournament, let me assure you we are not in a position now or in coming five years to win the Asia Cup or the World Cup."

Ahmadzai, while not admitting to the changes he sought or impacted, was quick to point out that they were not personal and were for the good of Afghanistan cricket.

“Whoever is coming to replace me as a selector should think from now that in two years' time, Nabi, Hamid Hasan, Asghar, Shapoor [Zadran], Dawlat Zadran can play [at the highest level]. If they cannot do so, who should replace them? We know this and think about this. Whatever changes I brought is not personal, all these players are my personal friends of the past 17 years. We need a constructive culture. I mean, if we have one team and there is no youth, we cannot survive. Whatever right is happening, it may not sound good on media but you will see good results in time,” he said.

The latest spat, involving Simmons is interesting with rumours that the coach could be making a return to the helm of the mercurial West Indies.

Simmons had also left that job under a cloud after very public spats with the hierarchy of West Indies Cricket.

Simmons had, before the start of the World Cup, said he would not be renewing his contract with the Afghanistan side at the completion of the tournament when it would expire.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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