Former West Indies star joins Papua New Guinea coaching setup for T20 World Cup

Former West Indies star joins Papua New Guinea coaching setup for T20 World Cup


Simmons joins the Oceania side in the role of specialist coach

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(Web Desk) - Former West Indies all-rounder and highly-respected coach Phil Simmons has joined the Papua New Guinea coaching setup for next month's ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Simmons joins the Oceania side in the role of specialist coach, providing head coach and former Zimbabwe international Tatenda Taibu with some added experience in Caribbean conditions for the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup.

While Simmons featured in more than 160 matches for the West Indies, he is perhaps even more well known for his exploits following his playing career as an international coach and for leading the West Indies to their second T20 World Cup title in India in 2016.

Simmons was in charge of Zimbabwe's men's team for much of 2004 and 2005 and has more recently had stints in charge of Ireland and Afghanistan and was head coach of the West Indies during their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign at the most recent edition of the tournament in Australia in 2022.

Simmons is hoping to use his knowledge of the conditions in the Caribbean and pass it on to Papua New Guinea's players during their second appearance at the T20 World Cup.

“My role here is as a consultant coach and how I put across my experience, not just playing in World Cups but playing in the Caribbean and the things that we should be looking at to make sure we do it right in the Caribbean and especially the venues that we play at," he said.

“As a player internationally, for fourteen years and then as an international coach for eighteen years it’s been a long time in the game. It’s always brilliant to come home, always brilliant to come back to any part of the West Indies you know how beautiful it is here.

"I’m looking forward to getting home, home which is Trinidad. Having people come here, me getting back here, it’s always a great thing, it’s always something to look forward to.”

Simmons has already joined up with the PNG playing group in the Caribbean island of St Kitts and the 61-year-old has been impressed by what he has seen.

“Their energy is unbelievable!" Simmons exclaimed.

"Their warm-ups alone yesterday, got me tired. The guys look like they have settled in really well.

"Yesterday in training we started to get out in the middle of their game so they started on some of the things they have to do here in the Caribbean and it’s nice to see the energy that’s among this squad.

"I’ve known the head coach (Taibu) for a long time and he’s always energetic, there is always a lot of energy but the players seem to be pushing him where that is not so and I like that atmosphere in the team, I like the liveliness in the team.”

Papua New Guinea's first match at the T20 World Cup comes against Simmons' former side the West Indies in Guyana on June 2.

Papua New Guinea squad: Assadollah Vala (c), Alei Nao, Chad Soper, CJ Amini, Hila Vare, Hiri Hiri, Jack Gardner, John Kariko, Kabua Vagi Morea, Kipling Doriga, Lega Siaka, Norman Vanua, Sema Kamea, Sese Bau, Tony Ura