Phil Simmons made such great strides for Ireland’s cricket that they are now officially recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to play Test cricket. He was lured away from Irish soil to come back home to coach his native land of the West Indies. West Indian cricketers loved him because he understood them and would understand their problems being a former West Indian Test and International player himself.
Englishman Richard Pybus was the Director of Cricket for the West Indies Cricket Board at the time. Pybus is a failed coach and cricket administrator who interfered with the selection of teams. He felt that he could give Simmons directives on how he should coach and handle his team, and advice on selection policies. In other words, he stifled the Trinidadian from doing his job to the best of his ability.
Simmons, a man of substance and integrity, stuck to his decisions when asked to retract them and was fired a day before he was to accompany his West Indies team on tour to Sri Lanka! This also coincided with Jason Holder’s first series as the captain of the team. Some attributed the lacklustre performances of the team on this tour to the absence of Simmons of whom all the players had grown quite fond.