ICC World Cup 2019: Afghanistan Head Coach Phil Simmons to Step Down After Showpiece Event
Afghanistan head coach and a former Windies batsman Phil Simmons has decided to not renew his contract as the head coach of the Afghanistan national team after the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup. The former Windies opener was appointed the head coach of Afghanistan back in 2017. He feels that it is time to move after accomplishing Afghanistan as a force in world cricket. This is only the 2nd time Afghanistan has qualified for a 50 overs World Cup.
As per reports in the ESPN Cricinfo, Simmons has conveyed his decision to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Saturday. Simmons’ contract could have been renewed if he hadn’t decided to step down. Afghanistan is definitely a good team and might be the party poopers of the tournament.
“I have thought about it and I have actually given the ACB my notice that I will not be renewing my contract,” Simmons told ESPNcricinfo.
“I will move on to something different once my contract expires on July 15. I signed up originally for 18 months and I think I have done a lot in this period. It is time for me to move on to something else now. To want to get to the World Cup – that was was ACB’s goal at the time they appointed me. My goal is always to leave things better than when I joined: the way we practice, the way we think about the game, the way we assess other teams. I’ve tried to help the players in all those areas.”
The decision of Phil Simmons to step down comes pretty soon after there was a sudden change in leadership which didn’t go down well with senior cricketers like Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan. Gulbadin Naib was appointed as the 50 overs skipper while Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan were made the skippers of the Test and the T20I teams respectively.
Meanwhile, Phil Simmons also stated that he wasn’t aware when the decision was taken and wasn’t given an explanation either on why the captaincy change was made
“No, I was not aware of it. I was not given any reasons. It was the decision of the Afghanistan Cricket Board and the selectors,” Simmons said.
“How can I take it? I can’t change it. So, I have to just get on with what I have to do and make sure the squad is preparing in the same way I wanted them to prepare barring the [captaincy] change.”
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