India Vs Pakistan Head To Head In World Cup Phil Simmons – West Indies Cricketer

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Phil Simmons – West Indies Cricketer

Phil Simmons – the great former West Indies opener – was equally impressive with his stroke play. “Big Phil” was described as explosive; a description that fits him well; except for his typical medium pace bowling. He played competitive cricket at senior level for two decades – until the age of 39.

Philip Verant Simmons was born in Arima, Trinidad in the year 1963. He developed into a specialist right-handed opening batsman and an occasional center fielder at the start of his career. Phil started playing First Class cricket for Trinidad and Tobago during the 1982/1983 West Indies domestic season aged 19.

The West Indies were a dominant force in World cricket at the time, with a solid batting order. Simmons had to wait until his ODI debut in 1987 – just over four years later – to get his first taste of international cricket. Against Pakistan in Lahore, he got off to an impressive start to his ODI career, scoring a blistering 50 runs from 57 balls.

Simmons’ Test debut came in 1988, just months after his ODI debut. In that match – against India in Chennai, West Indies struggled throughout the game – eventually losing by 255 runs. Like the other West Indies batsmen in that defeat, Phil did not shine; scoring only 22 runs in his first two Test innings.

Later in 1988, Simmons was selected to tour England. Facing Packer David Lawrence in a road game – and in dim light – Simmons was hit on the head by a delivery. Emergency brain surgery was required to save his life. Some cricket commentators have opined that this incident affected Simmons’ effectiveness as an opening batsman. After that, Simmons improved his bowling and became a middle-order batsman as well.

Simmons’ international record was generally decent. However, his Test record hardly did justice to his talent and ability. From 26 Test matches, Simmons amassed 1,002 runs from 47 innings at a middling average of 22.26. He scored one century and 4 half centuries in Tests.

“Big Phil” experienced more success in ODIs with both bat and ball. From 143 ODIs, he took 83 wickets at an average of 34.65. His economy rate was an impressive 4.44. Simmons also plundered 3,675 runs at a good average of 28.93. His all-round ability helped West Indies win several ODIs, in which he played.

Philip Simmons was a very well traveled cricketer. He played for Leicestershire, Durham and the Lesser Counties of Wales in the UK. Simmons also had spells with Border and Easterns in South Africa, apart from playing for his native Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies. From 207 first-class matches, “Big Phil” amassed 11,682 runs at a good average of 35.61. He also took 214 wickets at a good average of 28.68. The fact that his batting average is several points higher suggests that he is a very useful pitcher.

At the end of his playing days in 2002, Simmons became involved in coaching. His first international job was molding a young, politically beleaguered Zimbabwe team. He was sacked from that post in 2005, amid some controversy. However, Simmons was offered the Ireland job in 2007; took charge of a new Irish team that had reached the Super 8 of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup before he took over. Clearly, Philip Simmons continued to make his mark on the game long after he stopped snapping the ball and turned his arm over.

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