St John's: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons will step down from his role at the end of this year, following the Caribbean side's debacle at the ongoing T20 World Cup where they failed to reach the Super 12 stage.
West Indies, the T20 World Cup's most successful team with triumphs in 2012 and 2016, crashed out of the showpiece event in the group stage, after losses to Scotland and Ireland. They beat Zimbabwe in the round-robin league but that was good enough to finish at the bottom of the four-team group.
This was the first time West Indies failed to advance further from the group stage since the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007.
"His last assignment will be the upcoming two-Test series against Australia from 30 November to 12 December," Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in a statement on Monday night.
Some reports in the local media said that his contract requires that he gives his employers 12 weeks' notice and hence his exit will happen in January next year.
The 59-year-old, a former West Indies all-rounder, described the side's early exit from the T20 World Cup as unfathomable.
“I acknowledge that it's not just the team that is hurting but the proud nations we represent as well. It's disappointing and heart-wrenching but we just didn't turn up," Simmons said in the statement.
"We weren't good enough and we now have to watch a tournament play out without our involvement. It's unfathomable and for that, I deeply apologise to our fans and followers," said Simmons who played 26 Tests and 143 ODIs from 1987 to 1999.
He was at the helm of affairs in 2016 when West Indies won their second T20 World Cup title, defeating England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. After his first short stint, Simmons was appointed head coach again in October 2019 for a four-year tenure. However, he was controversially dismissed at that time also.
From a personal perspective this is not a knee-jerk reaction, but a move I have been considering for some time and now is the time to make public that I will step down as West Indies Head Coach at the end of the Test series against Australia.
"It is earlier than hoped for, but I will now focus my energies in Australia on continuing to build on the excellent progress the Test team has made."
Simmons also said that there would be a review of West Indies' disastrous performance in the T20 World Cup.
"Of course, as the President has pointed out, we will also carry out the necessary review into our World Cup campaign, he said.
Earlier this year, Simmons guided West Indies to a hard-fought 1-0 Test series win over England at home to capture the Richards-Botham Trophy. Under his tutelage, West Indies also won a Test series against Bangladesh in their last outing.