SACKED West Indies cricket coach Phil Simmons has been named as the coach of the St Kitts and Nevis (SKN) Patriots for the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.
The announcement was made on Thursday in a press release issued by Peter Breen Head of Public Relations and Communications of the Hero CPL.
"We are happy to announce that Phil Simmons is the new head coach of the SKN Patriots”, said co-owner and principal, Uday Nayak.
“We expect that Phil's experience and local knowledge will help the Patriots achieve improved performances in our 2017 Hero CPL campaign, and will bring the ultimate success that our fans and sponsors deserve”, the release stated.
The Patriots owner described Simmons as “the right coaching choice at this very crucial time in the development of our franchise.”
The release added that Simmons was “delighted” to take up the role of head coach of the SKN Patriots.
Last week the team signed star Jamaican batsman Chris Gayle.
“I would like to thank the owners and management for offering me this exciting opportunity to lead the squad. I am aware of the immediate challenges we are facing and I will do all possible to ensure that we achieve improved results”, said Simmons.
“I am very pleased with the recent signing of Gayle. This is a major boost for me coming in as the new coach and I look forward to working closely with Chris to bring the desired success to the St. Kitts and Nevis franchise”.
The release described Simmons, a Trinidadian, as “a former explosive West Indies batting all-rounder. He retired from being a professional player in 2002, before embarking on a successful coaching career".
"Simmons is former coach of the Ireland national cricket team from 2007 to 2015, a period of significant improvement for Ireland's ranking in world cricket. Simmons is best known for coaching the West Indies team to victory in the ICC World T20 in India earlier this year”, the release added.
However six months after the team's victory Simmons was relieved of his duty as the coach, with the West Indies Cricket Board of Control (WICB) citing "differences in culture and strategic approach" for his termination.
And in September 2015, Simmons was suspended from his role as the WI tactician for the tours of Sri Lanka and Australia after alleging WICB interferences in team selection.
Upon reinstating Simmons as coach earlier this year, the WICB had said that said it was done under two conditions - issuance to him of a letter of reprimand for his inappropriate public comments and his making a public apology to the WICB and persons whom he may have offended.