West Indies have moved quickly to replace outgoing coach Phil Simmons by announcing former Jamaican player Andre Coley will step up and fill the breach as interim coach for the next three months. Simmons finished his lengthy reign as coach of the Caribbean side when he stepped down at the completion of the West Indies’ recent two-match Test series in Australia and Coley has been named to fill in as coach during upcoming tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
New Successor in town
Coley, who played seven first-class matches for Jamaica and even represented his country at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, joins the West Indies at a vital time as they attempt to bounce back from a disappointing run of results that was highlighted by a first-round exit at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams is looking forward to welcoming Coley back into the fold and believes the 48-year-old has all the skills required to perform an excellent job.
“We welcome Andre back to the West Indies dressing room and with his wealth of knowledge of the game, player-management skills, dedication and hard work, as well as attention to detail, we know he is well equipped,” Adams said.
“He is a highly experienced coach who has functioned at every level within the CWI High-Performance Pathway. This has prepared him for the job at hand and we expect he will again approach this new role with the same vigour and zeal which have characterised his time in the CWI coaching system and has earned the respect of players and everyone who he has interacted with.”
Coley’s first mission will be the West Indies’ two-match Test series in Zimbabwe in February, while two Tests and a white-ball tour of South Africa in February and March will also offer the former wicketkeeper-batter a chance to display his credentials for the top job on a full-time basis.
“The players, I’m sure, are enthusiastic about the opportunities that both series should offer and are eager to contribute to our team’s success,” Coley noted.
“I look forward to the tours ahead and the opportunity to make a tangible and meaningful contribution to the growth of West Indies cricket.”
West Indies in Zimbabwe schedule:
4 to 8 February: 1st Test at Queens Sports Club
12 to 16 February: 2nd Test at Queens Sports Club
West Indies in South Africa schedule:
28 February to 4 March: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion
8-12 March: 2nd Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
16 March: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London
18 March: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London
21 March: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
25 March: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion
26 March: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion
28 March: 3rd T20I at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg