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Sir Curtly fully behind coach Simmons


Sir Curtly fully behind coach Simmons

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ST JOHN’S – West Indies bowling consultant Sir Curtly Ambrose has given his full backing to new head coach Phil Simmons, describing him as a “team man” who he expects to bring a new dimension to the regional squad.

Simmons, the former Ireland coach, was appointed to the vacant position following the conclusion of the ICC World Cup last month.

“I know for sure, Simmons is a team man. I’ve never worked with him as being a coach, but I know as a team person he will bring something different,” Sir Curtly told Observer Radio’s Good Morning JoJo Sports Show recently.

“Working with him for the last four days – because we had a management meeting and he laid out his plans – I’ve been very impressed with what he has to offer and I can see that there will be some changes going forward.

“I believe good things are going to happen because Simmons is a serious man.”

Simmons, who played with Sir Curtly during his 26-Test and 146 one-day career, was named to replace former West Indies seamer Ottis Gibson, who was axed last August after four years on the job.

A former opener, who also bowled medium pace, Simmons’ first task will be to oversee the three-Test series against visiting England before also preparing the side to face the mighty Australians in June.

However, with West Indies still languishing at number eight in the world Test standings, Sir Curtly warned that the road back would be a long, difficult one.

“Even before I joined the West Indies team, it used to frustrate me … because I was part of the best team in the world so I know what it means to Caribbean people. Now that I am a part of it, I am going to do the best I can to try and get the cricket forward,” Sir Curtly said.

“When I joined the team first, people talked about getting back to number one but I am a realist. We are so far away from number one. My job is to try and get us into the top four first because you can’t leave from number eight to number one just like that.

“It’s not that easy . . . we can’t think about number one as yet, we have to be real about this thing.”

Sir Curtly was quick to praise the current group of players, pointing out they had been responding to his methods.

“I have to be patient because it is not going to happen overnight. I have no problem working with the guys,” the Antiguan said.

“They give me the fullest of respect, I do the same to them and sometimes I get a little aggressive with them when things aren’t going well, but they understand that it is for their benefit.” (CMC)