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Curtly Ambrose backs 'team man' Phil Simmons to move Windies forward

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

IANS |August 16, 2015, 8:01 PM IST
Curtly Ambrose backs 'team man' Phil Simmons to move Windies forward

Antigua: West Indies bowling consultant 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 squad.

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

"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," Ambrose said on Saturday.

"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 Ambrose during his 26-Test and 146 One-Day career, was named to replace former 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 the West Indies still languishing at number eight in the world Test standings, Ambrose warned that the road back would be 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 the 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," he 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," he added.

"It's not that easy. We can't think about number one as yet, we have to be real about this thing."

Ambrose 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."

West Indies face England in the first Test starting on Monday.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more