Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Simmons extends Ireland deal

Ireland coach Phil Simmons has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons has agreed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain in charge until the end of the 2015 domestic season, Cricket Ireland has announced

The former West Indies international, 50, took over Adi Birrell following the 2007 World Cup and has led Ireland to a period of unparalleled success during his 197 games in charge.

That includes qualifying for six consecutive global competitions, while Ireland could win a 10th trophy under Simmons next week when they meet Afghanistan in the final of the InterContinental Cup in Dubai.

"It wasn't a difficult decision to agree a further two years," said Simmons, who has helped Ireland win the 2009 ICC Trophy, the 2013 World Cricket League Championship and three ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers among their other successes.

"I love Ireland and the people, who have a similar outlook to life as West Indians. The team has been very successful, but importantly for me, they are still hungry for success and willing to learn and improve all the time."

"We still have a long way to go and it's an exciting period to be involved with Irish cricket, both on and off the field. We're putting in place foundations which will serve the sport well in the generations to come.

"We've dominated at Associate level and now have ambitions to take the game in Ireland to the next level with our desire to become a Test nation by 2020. We're on course to meet the challenges and targets that have been set, and I'm delighted to be part of that set-up."

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