Simmons fired as West Indies head coach

St.John's (Antigua): Phil Simmons rocky tenure as head coach of the West Indies cricket team came to a premature end after the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that they had terminated his contract. A brief statement released by the WICB on Tuesday confirmed the sacking and ended days of speculation in the regional media which preceded last weekend's quarterly Board of Directors meeting in Dominica, reports CMC. The statement said Simmons's sacking takes immediate effect and that the decision was taken by WICB on Saturday. "Effective immediately, the WICB today announced it has separated from the Head Coach Phil Simmons," the statement said. "In a meeting of the Board of Directors, on Saturday, September 10, this decision was taken." WICB president Dave Cameron consistently dodged reporters' questions about the impending dismissal in the days leading up to the Board meeting in Roseau. Simmons was appointed head coach 18 months ago, after last year's World Cup, following a spell with Ireland. However, the former West Indies all-rounder has had a troubled relationship with his employers, emphasised by his suspension six months later for his controversial comments about team selection. "In recent times, based on the public pronouncements of the coach and the approach internally, we have identified differences in culture and strategic approach," said the WICB statement. "The WICB would therefore like to thank the coach for his contribution and wishes him the best in his future endeavours." No replacement has been named for Simmons as the team gets ready to leave in a matter of days for its next international assignment against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). WICB said that the team, which will play T20 Internationals, One Day Internationals and Test matches, starting September 23 against Pakistan, will be headed by the Barbadian trio of manager Joel Garner and coaches Henderson Springer and Roddy Estwick. Estwick was appointed the bowling coach in the previous series, but Springer is a new addition to the set-up. Some reports had said that WICB was interested in hiring Jimmy Adams, the former Test middle order batsman now coaching English county Kent. But he is reported not to be interested. Another report said that current director of cricket Richard Pybus may take up the role in the short term.