Reports: Phil Simmons applies for the Indian head coaching job
What’s the story?
Former West Indies opener and coach Phil Simmons has reportedly applied for the role of the head coach of the Indian cricket team. Sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have confirmed to the Times of India (TOI) that Simmons had formally expressed interest in the India job earlier and has recently, forwarded his application.
It was further reported that an unnamed former South African legend has expressed his interest in the role. Although there was no confirmation whether or not he has actually applied, there is a buzz about it.
In case you didn’t know…
At the beginning of last month, following the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, Anil Kumble stepped down from his position as the head coach of India. Following the same, in a statement on social media, he clarified that the BCCI had informed him that the captain had ‘reservations with his style’ and the partnership had become ‘untenable’.
The deadline for applying for the position was thereby extended until 9th July, 2017. The ones who have so far reportedly applied are Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Doda Ganesh, Lalchand Rajput, Virender Sehwag and Ravi Shastri.
The heart of the matter
Having trained Zimbabwe, the West Indies and Ireland, Simmons has quite an impressive record as a coach. The former opening batsman had guided the Irish national team to the World Cup twice, in 2011 and 2015. And during his eight-year spell with the team, he oversaw wins over Test-playing teams like England, Windies and Zimbabwe.
The 54-year-old later quit the Ireland job in order to join the Windies team as the head coach in 2015. He then successfully led the Windies to a World T20 title before being unceremoniously sacked by the board due to "differences in culture and strategic approach".
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) is set to interview the applicants on 10th July, 2017. The new coach will be appointed before the start of the Sri Lanka tour.
It is still a matter of conjecture whether or not the entry of new applicants will have anything to do with the dynamics of coach selection. However, it still seems to be a two-horse race between Virender Sehwag and former Team Director Ravi Shastri. Shastri, obviously, has the edge but there can always be a last-minute surprise, much like the last time. If anything, Simmons’ application makes things more interesting.