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.

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